The Seventh Annual Michael O’Neal Summer Singers performed Bach to Broadway to a wildly appreciative audience this past Sunday afternoon. Nearly 750 audience members heard 150 singers perform a program ranging from choruses of Bach, Handel and Haydn all the way to musical theatre selections from Man of La Mancha, West Side Story, The Phantom of the Opera, and Les Miserables. The variety of our programming in that concert is analogous to the variety of backgrounds of the Summer Singers membership. I’ve enjoyed conducting this non-auditioned chorus each summer in part because of the vast background of singing experiences represented. The Summer Singers chorus includes individuals who might never be comfortable going through an audition procedure for our regular chorus membership to singers who are professional musicians and just don’t have the time to participate in a chorus during the regular season. When you take these two extremes and add singers who are at every level between the two, you have The Michael O’Neal Summer Singers! I love working with these folks for a number of reasons, not the least of which is their obvious joy in making music, and making it to the best of their abilities. As I told them in the warm up for our Sunday concert, in choral singing we often experience the Gestalt theory of the “whole being greater than the sum of its parts.” In other words, we are able to accomplish something together we could never achieve individually.
For seven years my summers have been immeasurably blessed by my work with these wonderful and dedicated singers. This summer was especially rewarding. My sincere thanks to all of them.
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: audition, Bach, Bach to Broadway, Gestalt, Handel, Haydn, Les Miserables, Man of La Mancha, Summer Singers, The Michael O'Neal Summer Singers, The Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story | 5 Comments »