Ever since members of the Summit Choral Society returned from a trip to Carnegie Hall this spring, their hearts and heads have been full of the messages of Broadway. Next week, they will get a chance to share a taste of the Big Apple with Summit County audiences in two nights of New York-themed concerts.
The concert will showcase songs about New York, such as “Theme from New York, New York,” “New York State of Mind” and “Isle of Hope, as well as famous Broadway favorites like “Seventy Six Trombones,” “Sound of Music,” “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Surrey with the Fringe on Top.”
Give my regards to Broadway
Sue McHenry, who sings alto for the Choral Society, is featured in three different pieces.
“I get to sing a chorus from ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,’ from the musical ‘Evita,’ which is so gorgeous,” she said. “And I’m one of a quartet with three other women and we’re doing ‘What is This Feeling’ from ‘Wicked.’ And I’m doing a solo from (‘Monty Python’s) Spamalot’ called ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.’”
McHenry chose the “Spamalot” piece herself.
“I selected ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ because it’s kind of irreverent and yet has a very nice message,” she said.
Soprano Leslie Gondolf said she thinks the audience will really enjoy the concerts and connect with the fun, familiar songs. Gondolf is singing “The Heather on the Hill” from the musical “Brigadoon.”
“I chose it because I like it,” she said. “I did it for an entire summer some years ago back in Connecticut, and it is one of my favorites; I love the music.”
Gondolf joined the Summit Choral Society a couple of years ago when she moved to Summit County. She has since moved down to Evergreen but comes back to sing with the group whenever she can.
“I was looking for a group to sing with when we originally moved to Summit County, and I loved their pop concerts in the summer, so that’s why I came up this summer,” she said. “They do more poplar music, show music, in the summers. I love to sing the show music, in particular, and it’s a smaller, very friendly group, and they let a lot of people do solos, so that’s fun.”
McHenry said the choral group has been together for decades and, other than church choirs, is the only vocal group that’s been in Summit County all those years.
“Other groups have come and gone, notably some really good barber shop music, but that music’s very specific and specialized,” she said. “And we sing just about anything across all the genres of choral music: classical, Christmas carols for the ski areas and towns; we do programs like this that are Broadway and popular. We’ve done big Americana and Fourth of July programs.”
The community and visitors to Summit all enjoy the Summit Choral Society concerts, McHenry said.
“For the permanent community, it gives them a richer experience having choral music, as well as the wonderful orchestral music that we have, and for our visitors, it gives them another layer of entertainment and good things to do without necessarily going to a bar all the time,” she said.