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Amelia Islander

Island Chamber Singers Spring Concert

Mar 21, 2014 02:00AM
The Island Chamber Singers present their spring concert, Looking Forward, on Friday, March 28 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 30 at 3 p.m.  at The Plantation Chapel on Bowman Road. The concert will begin with Songs and Sonnets by George Shearing and will feature seven Shakespearean sonnets, including “Live with Me and Be My Love” and “Who is Silvia?” The singers will be accompanied by piano and bass as they present Shearing’s harmonically complex style mixing swing, bop and modern classical influences. Shearing was born blind, the ninth child of a poor London family, and died in 2011, having been knighted by Queen Elizabeth. During his lifetime, Shearing appeared with Mel Torme, the Montgomery Brothers, Marian McPartland, Jim Hall, Hank Jones and numerous other popular musicians.

The second half of the concert will feature Brubeck’s To Hope! A Celebration, a modern Mass with some familiar names like the “Kyrie,” “Gloria” and “Lamb of God,” plus some special Brubeck interpretations like “The Desert and the Parched Land” and “All My Hope.” Accompanied by piano, celesta, bass, saxophone and percussion, the 36 member choral group will be led by Jane Lindberg, founder and director of the Island Chamber Singers. Featured soloists are Mary Williams and Scott Tinman as cantors. On the publication of To Hope! A Celebration in 1979, Brubeck said, “Emotions that are life, from sorrow to exaltation, were part of my experience in writing To Hope! When the work was completed, I felt a strong sense of wholeness and affirmation. I pray that those who experience the work will share my feelings.”

During his lifetime, 1920-2012, Brubeck was designated a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. This California native began classical piano lessons with his mother when he was four years old. He graduated from College of the Pacific where he originally intended to study veterinary medicine. As he worked his way through school as a pianist in nightclubs, he changed his major to music. After college, he served in Patton’s Army in Europe. During that time he led a racially integrated band. After the war he studied with French composer Darius Milhaud who encouraged him to incorporate jazz into his compositions. Although To Hope! is not widely performed here, it has been performed in St. Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna, in Moscow with the Russian National Orchestra and throughout the English speaking world. Brubeck himself has performed in shows with artists Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and Leonard Bernstein and won numerous awards. He even performed at the Reagan-Gorbachev Summit in 1988.

Tickets are $15 for adults when purchased in advance of concert day. They can be purchased online at www.IslandChamberSingers.org; from a member of Island Chamber Singers; at the Amelia Island Welcome Center, 102 Centre Street, (800) 226-3542; at the AIFBY Chamber of Commerce, 961687 Gateway Blvd., Suite 101G (at A1A and Amelia Island Parkway), (904) 261-3248; and at Harrison’s Mercantile at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Spa and Shops, (904) 432-2218. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $20. Tickets are always FREE for all students. For further information, please call (904) 225-0575 on weekdays.