Sensational Choral Society Program Spanned Several Centuries

Published: May 25, 2019 at 07:00 am


Brilliant sunshine streamed through the windows of Newtown Meeting House Saturday afternoon, May 18, for the much-anticipated Newtown Choral Society annual Spring Concert.

This performance marked a high point of the group’s 33rd year, with Director Mary Andreotta leading the vocal ensemble in a varied and ambitious program of music spanning the past 600 years, including Mozart, Thomas Morley, Gershwin, Gilbert & Sullivan, Mozart, and Bruno Mars, along with many American Songbook classics.

The 200-plus audience of fans and friends clapped along and bounced in their seats, encouraging the 25 singers, who looked striking in their trademark black formalwear, accented by bright yellow bow ties and yellow flower corsages.

Solos, duets, and small ensembles were highlights of the day’s offering.

Excerpts from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro featured Denise Kaiser, Peter Andrew, Dan Coffmann, and Maureen Kelly. Mr Andrew and Ms Kelly also offered a bit of playful playacting during the English Folk Song “Early One Morning.”

Ms Kaiser was featured in the George Bizet number “Habanera,” from Carmen, and Mr Coffman and Mr Andrew stepped up again for Gilbert & Sullivan’s “I Am The Very Model of a Modern Major General.”

Deborra Zukowski’s superb soprano tones were the highlight of “Poor Wandering One,” and Robin Walker occupied the soloist spotlight for “Summertime,” from Porgy and Bess.

Accompanist Susan Anthony-Klein — with the assistance of page-turner Jennie Anthony Bogue — and the percolating percussion of Bob Nolte had the entire audience tapping their toes to George M. Cohan’s “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

The entire company soared with a trio of more current popular selections — “Mack the Knife,” “Let It Be,” and the recent megahit “Uptown Funk” — which closed the program to thunderous applause and a sustained standing ovation.

The hour-long concert was performed without intermission and featured both a cappella and accompanied pieces, with piano and percussion.

Newtown Choral Society is an all-volunteer, non-auditioned group and has performed regular concerts in Newtown since 1986. Singers of all types are encouraged to join. In between formal concerts, the nonprofit choral society performs for civic groups, and at local functions, and is a past recipient of a grant from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.

For more information on membership, contributions and programming, contact President Laura Lerman at 203-426-3769 or lel-choir2@se-ltd.com.

Learn more by visiting newtownchoral.org or the group’s site on Facebook.

Contributor Kaia Fahrenholz is, among many things, a former president of the now defunct Newtown Friends of Music. Newtown Bee Associate Editor John Voket also contributed to this feature.




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