Cho­rale singers present ‘Independence For­ever!’

Record Observer - - Arts & Entertainment -

CHESTERTOWN — Call­ing all pa­tri­ots! The Ch­ester River Cho­rale in­vites you to rally to the sound of the fife and drum at the Garfield Cen­ter’s Prince The­atre at high noon on Satur­day, May 28, dur­ing the Chestertown Tea Party Fes­ti­val. Hear songs of the Amer­i­can strug­gle for free­dom pre­sented by the Ch­ester River Cho­rale’s Ch­ester Cham­ber Singers.

The songs per­formed by the Cho­rale will span the cen­turies from be­fore the Dec­la­ra­tion of Independence to the Civil Rights rev­o­lu­tion, songs writ­ten by William Billings, Amer­ica’s first ma­jor cho­ral com­poser, who put to­gether hymns of re­sis­tance to the Bri­tish rule over the colonies 250 years ago, and songs as new as those from the smash hit mu­si­cal Hamil­ton cur­rently on Broad­way.

There will be an an­them of the civil rights move­ment, “We Shall Over­come,” and the wrench­ing “Bunker Hill,” an ode that jus­ti­fies risk­ing death in bat­tle for free­dom. In ad­di­tion, a pair of 19th Cen­tury songs used to rally the vot­ers to the polls that will not seem out of place in this tu­mul­tuous elec­tion year.

Cho­rale pro­fes­sion­als Dou­glas Cox con­ducts and Sam Mar­shall, on pi­ano, will lead the pro­gram. Cham­ber so­prano Michelle Sensenig will also di­rect as Cox lends his voice to so­los in the “Hamil­ton” pieces. Fifer Susan Brock­man and drum­mer Doug Web­ber will pro­vide ac­com­pa­ni­ment with a Yan­kee Doo­dle kick.

The con­cert is free, but the Cho­rale grate­fully ac­cepts con­tri­bu­tions. Cho­rale mem­bers are am­a­teur singers drawn mainly from Kent and Queen Anne’s coun­ties. If you love to sing, the cho­rale en­cour­ages you to join them. No au­di­tion is re­quired.

The Ch­ester River Cho­rale is a non-profit 501(c)(3) or­ga­ni­za­tion funded in part by the Kent County Arts Coun­cil and by an op­er­at­ing grant from the Mary­land State Arts Coun­cil.

The CRC’s Mis­sion is to pro­vide op­por­tu­nity and in­spi­ra­tion for am­a­teur singers to strive for artis­tic ex­cel­lence. CRC per­for­mances en­ter­tain di­verse au­di­ences and en­rich the cul­tural life of the com­mu­nity. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.chester­river­cho rale.org.

LORAN MCCLUNG

Fife and drum play for the Ch­ester River Cho­rale.

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