Vocal Arts has eclectic mix in store for Saturday Program to feature Berlin, others in musical theater

May 14, 1998|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Arundel Vocal Arts Society will present an eclectic mix of familiar and obscure songs from musical theater Saturday at the Pascal Center for the Performing Arts at Anne Arundel Community College.

The program, "A Grand Night for Singing," pays particular tribute to Irving Berlin and includes the work of such other musical theater luminaries as Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Stephen Sondheim, and Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt of "Fantasticks" fame.

Under the direction of Glenette Schumacher, the group will sing Berlin tunes from 1911 through 1946, the era in which he penned many of his most popular songs.

Composer Jerome Kern once said: "Irving Berlin has no place in American music; he is American music."

Indeed, hardly a spring or winter holiday goes by that we don't hear "Easter Parade" or "White Christmas." And his "God Bless America" -- the Kate Smith version, anyway -- is almost a second national anthem.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein songs come from "Oklahoma," "Carousel" and "State Fair," and songs from the Jones and Schmidt collaboration "The Fantasticks" add a 1960s feel to the program with "Try to Remember and "Soon It's Gonna Rain."

Music from Sondheim's 1988 "Into the Woods" will complete the program. Although it is quite a leap from Berlin to Sondheim, the Arundel Vocal Arts Society makes it seem like an easy bounce.

Soloists for the concert, which starts at 8 p.m., will include Vicki Estep, Sally Gilles, Jeff Sneeringer and Jim Handakas.

Tickets are $10 and may be reserved by calling 410-268-3131 or 410-544-4687.

Pub Date: 5/14/98

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