A musical trip
Choral society celebrates anniversary with music of the ’50s, ’60s
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.
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.