The Laurel Lake Encore Chorale sang its Spring Concert for a hugely appreciative audience at Laurel Lake
on Thursday night, May 26.
Rain threatened to put a damper on things, but by show time, the clouds had rolled away and hundreds of people streamed in to fill every seat in the Community Center. Those who couldn't get seats opted to watch the concert on closed circuit TV in the Laurel Lake Pub.
Our singers delivered a truly spirited performance! Opening with It's A Grand Night for Singing from State Fair and a lush arrangement of Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz, the choir transitioned into a collection of sacred songs featuring Idyll of Praise and Brother James's Air.
Next came a delightful mix of show tunes, spirituals and American folk songs. The choir's blend was superb for Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany's. Snare drummer Jill Rango and floutists Amy Hartman and Kristen Johnson provided a revolutionary "pipe and drum" cadence for The Staff of Faith, and Howard Helvey's demanding Ev'ry Time I Feel the Spirit left the singers victorious but breathless! The choir sang Celebration! (a spirited romp through folk tunes Skip to My Lou, Polly Wolly Doodle, O Susannah, Old Dan Tucker, and Camptown Races) and Saints Bound for Heaven with gusto. The room positively RANG with that final chord of Saints!
As an encore, the performers delivered a surprise to the audience - the chance to sing You Are My Sunshine with the Chorale in glorious barbershop harmony, complete with jaunty syncopation by our drummer.
We were excited to welcome Dr. Frank Jacobs, artistic director of the Summit Choral Society and Laura Musarra, the organization's manager, for the performance. Laurel Lake and Encore hope to partner with SCS and other arts organizations to expand choral performance opportunities for older adults in Northeast Ohio.
Several Laurel Lakers and I are driving over for the Chorale Camp closing concert at Chautauqua in September -- hope to meet many of you then!
Donna Anderson, Director
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