Lenoir, NC – The Caldwell Men’s Chorus will hold its fall concert on Saturday, November 12th at 7:30 PM at Lenoir Presbyterian Church, 1002 Kirkwood Street, NW, Lenoir, NC 28645. The concert is free and open to the public, though donations are encouraged.
The men will be joined by special musical guests, the Youth Ensemble Singers, (YES), Dr. David Abernethy, Mike Willis, Matthew Davis, Trevor and Bailey Woods, Jenni Hassler and Dakare Chatman.
According to Director Keith Smith, the concert will feature a wide variety of music in various styles, with an array of instrumentation. The concert will begin with the young brother and sister team of Trevor and Bailey Woods, playing the violin and harp respectively. Then Dakare Chatman will sing “The Water is Wide,” accompanied by David Abernethy on the hammered dulcimer. Jenni Hassler will sing “Hello, Young Lovers” from the musical, “The King and I.” Many folks will remember Chatman and Hassler from the recent Hudson Dinner Theatre production of “The King and I.” Then the Youth Ensemble Singers will perform “Pie Jesu” and “Arkansas Traveler,” accompanied on fiddle by Matthew Davis. The musical setting of this “Pie Jesu” was written in tribute to the children who lost their lives in the Oklahoma City bombing some 20 years ago. David Abernethy, Mike Willis, Greg Knight and Matthew Davis, all members of Puddingstone, will perform a number, followed by Greg Knight playing Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C# Minor. Knight was a recent finalist in the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Then the men take the stage and perform “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” featuring Brian Clark as soloist. “Homeward Bound” by Mack Wilberg will follow in an arrangement by David Abernethy, accompanied by the Puddingstone members. This piece will be recorded live for Puddingstone’s upcoming album and will feature Bradley David and Reggy Greene. Next is the Appalachian Folk Tune, “Pretty Saro,” made well-known by Nobel Prize winner, Bob Dylan. This piece will feature Adam Lowery. Next will be “Come Ye Thankful People, Come,” followed by “An Old English Prayer,” set to music by James Gossler. Though sung many times in an SATB arrangement, this will be the world premiere performance of this piece by an all-male chorus. Composer Gossler will be in the audience. Next comes the spiritual, “Ride the Chariot,” featuring Doug McCowan on a tenor solo and the classic opera chorus, “The Anvil Chorus,” by Giuseppe Verdi. Smith says that everyone will recognize this piece when they hear it. To conclude the concert, the YES girls will join the Caldwell Men for three selections, beginning with an old shaped note hymn, “Bridgewater.” This will be followed by a piece called Beethoven’s Wig with words added to Beethoven’s classic 5th Symphony motif. Smith says, “We tend to put iconic forms of expression up on a dusty shelf because we are intimidated by them: for example, the works of Shakespeare, classical music, even the Bible. I believe that the authors/composers of these intended us to take them down off that shelf and embrace them. By making a classical piece of music fun, the accessibility is increased and young people can discover the spirit and joy intended in these classical pieces.” The concert will conclude with a show-stopping medley from “The Sound of Music.”
The Caldwell Men’s Chorus is a non-profit organization featuring 25 male singers ranging in age from 15-80. According to Smith there are two common denominators within the group: ability to harmonize in four parts and a heartfelt love of singing. The Youth Ensemble Singers consist of some 20 girls ranging in age from 8-18. Smith says that several former members of the Men’s Chorus will be honored that night. He encourages people to come early as the church fills up very quickly. No ticket is necessary, just show up at the door. For further information, call Smith at 828-322-3169.