A mu­si­cal trip

Cho­ral so­ci­ety cel­e­brates an­niver­sary with mu­sic of the ’50s, ’60s

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANIEL P. PROSICK COPY ED­I­TOR Con­tact the writer: dprosick@re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com: 57-628-6002

Alo­cal troup of vo­cal­ists, along with a lauded guest, are set to turn back time with mu­si­cal hits of a by­gone era dur­ing its an­niver­sary this week­end.

The Schuylkill Cho­ral So­ci­ety will be celebrating its 45th sea­son with “45 RPMs — Top Hits from the early years of Rock and Roll and Mo­town,” with spe­cial guest Frank Jor­dan of the Jor­dan Broth­ers, at 3 p.m. Sun­day at Blue Mountain High School, Or­wigs­burg. Tick­ets are avail­able at the door, from a so­ci­ety mem­ber or by calling 570628-3388. The cost is $18 for adults and $12 for se­niors and stu­dents.

“I think peo­ple are re­ally go­ing to like this. We just did the World War I con­cert that had a lot of emo­tion, a lot of mean­ing to it and a lot of re­flec­tion. This is the other way: this is just fun,” Mark P. Thomas, cho­ral so­ci­ety mu­sic di­rec­tor, said. “You could be young or old, you’re go­ing to rec­og­nize these songs. They’re clas­sics in Amer­i­can so­ci­ety. Peo­ple are go­ing to know them, you go to wed­dings or go to dances, or turn on the TV or go to a movie, you hear this mu­sic. It doesn’t mat­ter if you’re 3 years old or 100 years old, you’re go­ing to rec­og­nize this mu­sic.”

The cho­rus, com­prised of about 80 singers, will be play­ing ’50s and ’60s hits such as “I Want You Back” and “ABC” from The Jack­son 5, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” by Four

Tops, “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Ha­ley & His Comets, “Build Me Up But­ter­cup” by The Foun­da­tions and more, Thomas said.

In or­der to honor the leg­ends of the area, they will, of course, be play­ing a few of the Jor­dan Broth­ers’ songs as well, in­clud­ing “Gimme Some Lovin’. ”

“We’re also go­ing to do some more stuff with him but it’s kind of a sur­prise,” Thomas said. “We will be do­ing some spe­cial num­bers that peo­ple will rec­og­nize from the early days of The Jor­dan Broth­ers.”

He noted that although Jor­dan is a reg­u­lar mem­ber of the cho­rus, when he grabs the mi­cro­phone to belt out a tune, it’s as if he never left the stage he grew up on.

“He’s a real show­man. It just comes right back like it’s 50 years ago,” Thomas said. “I think peo­ple are sur­prised; they don’t re­al­ize it’s Frank Jor­dan of The Jor­dan Broth­ers, and when we do a con­cert like this where we have an op­por­tu­nity and we can bring him out, it’s a ball be­cause then peo­ple are like ‘oh my gosh, that’s who it is!’ and then they rec­og­nize him.”

Along with Jor­dan, Kim­berly Breiner Stoudt will ac­com­pany the cho­rus on pi­ano, as well as an in­stru­men­tal trio, Thomas said.

“We’ll also have a band to­gether for this — a bass player, lead gui­tar and drums . ... We got a lit­tle rock band to­gether. They’re all pro­fes­sional mu­si­cians from the area.”

Even with the pieces fit­ting to com­prise the orig­i­nal in­stru­men­ta­tion, Thomas said, hav­ing a large cho­rus adds to the depth of the vin­tage mu­sic.

“It re­ally comes to­gether, it takes it to a dif­fer­ent level,” he said.

Up next on the Schuylkill Cho­ral So­ci­ety’s agenda is plan­ning for its 2020 Euro­pean Tour, a slate of con­certs to be an­nounced, start­ing with the win­ter con­cert, as well as a 2019 jazz show, and even pos­si­bly an ’80s con­cert.

“We’ve got­ten a lot of re­quests do to mu­sic from that time pe­riod ... So that may be around the cor­ner too,” Thomas hinted.

JAC­QUE­LINE DORMER / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

The Schuylkill Cho­ral So­ci­ety pre­sented “Re­mem­ber­ing World War I” in March. The group’s lat­est show, “45 RPMs — Top Hits from the early years of Rock and Roll and Mo­town,” will be held at 3 p.m. Sun­day at Blue Mountain High School, Or­wigs­burg, and will fea­ture spe­cial guest, Frank Jor­dan of the Jor­dan Broth­ers, top.

DAVID MCKEOWN / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

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