The Sixth Annual Michael O’Neal Summer Singers performed Salute to America to a large and enthusiastic audience yesterday afternoon. The chorus of 150 non-auditioned, volunteer singers presented a polished, energetic, and completely captivating performance of The Testament of Freedom (Music: Randall Thompson; Words: Thomas Jefferson), Song of Democracy (Music: Howard Hanson; Words: Walt Whitman), and arrangements of America, the Beautiful, God Bless America, and Battle Hymn of the Republic. Rounding out the concert was a two person version of Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever on the mighty Moller organ of Roswell UMC. The two persons performing that showstopper were Tom Alderman and Allen Baston. Tom also serves as the principal accompanist of MOS and provided phenomenal organ transcriptions of the Thompson and Hanson pieces. If there is an organist anywhere who could have performed this music more magnificently, I have not met him or her!
Our Summer Singers chorus (MOSS) is always a joy to conduct, but this summer was a special treat. I don’t think we’ve ever had a MOSS more dedicated and involved than this one. With six Monday evening rehearsals spread out over two months, it was imperative that the singers work on their own between rehearsals if they expected to perform their best. It was clear to me that these chorus members took their personal and collective responsibilities very seriously, for they sang a concert I will remember for years to come! Thanks to all who sang and all who attended. Aren’t we lucky to have choral music in our lives?
Filed under: Choral experiences Tagged: | Allen Baston, Howard Hanson, Michael O'Neal, Randall Thompson, Salute to America, song of democracy, Stars and Stripes Forever, The Michael O'Neal Summer Singers, thomas jefferson, Tom Alderman, walt whitman