MOS just completed its 22nd Season with a program entitled Ballads, Blues, and Broadway (Songs from the Great American Songbook). The concert was performed before a large and enthusiastic crowd whose enthusiasm was matched by the energy and exuberance of the singers. It was an exhilarating evening of music making and left me considering what it is that helps create such a night.
In addition to the qualities of both the audience and singers mentioned above, I think the repertoire performed had a huge impact on everyone in attendance. We regularly find profundity and meaning in the great works we sing, e.g., Brahms’s Requiem, Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and many more. Still, there is something very immediate and personal that connects with us when we sing some of our finest popular music. Included in our performance were such pieces as It Had to Be You, Unforgettable, My Romance, Embraceable You, Mood Indigo, and I’ll Be Seeing You. When you combine those songs with an excellent chorus and a fantastic jazz trio (Tyrone Jackson on piano, Neal Starkey on bass, Marlon Patton on drums) you have the ingredients for something truly special.
One more thing I noticed about this program was that my singers seemed to be (even more than usual) singing from the heart. This is, of course, difficult to define, but it’s one of those things that is easy to recognize when experienced. I’m glad we could end our season with a program of great American popular music that was able to touch hearts and bring both smiles and tears to our faces.
Filed under: Choral experiences | Tagged: ballads blues broadway, Embraceable You, Great American Songbook, I'll Be Seeing You, It Had to Be You, Marlon Patton, michael o'neal singers, mood indigo, MOS, My Romance, Neal Starkey, Tyrone Jackson, Unforgettable | 2 Comments »