Love Bites: Bottoms Up!, February 8 & 9, 2015, Martuni's Piano Bar.
Hello dear readers,
First I want to welcome our three new singers, Stephanie, Shauna and Tim and the return of Kim who is now singing in the alto section after many years in the soprano section.
This is the first entry for the 2015 season of LGCSF with the 12th Annual Love Bites cabaret. This one was with our guest music director and pianist, Cole Thomason-Redus. He was also our interim director the last half of 2010 after Stephanie Lynne Smith left us to seek greener pastures.
This year would be a very busy one for us as you will see in the succeeding entries to the blog.
The show started with the chorus singing "Maybe This Time" from "Cabaret," and was followed by our lovely Joan Goldman warbling "Don't You Leave Me Here" and when Joan says this, you listen.
The next three songs were by the wonderful Cole Porter. The first of these was "You're the Top" sung by Paul Peninger and Noam Szoke. You just have to guess who ended up as the Top. Next was a reworking of lyrics of "Let's Do It" and this was a sing along and instead of "And that's why birds do it", substitute "f*ck" for "do it" and this continued through the song. What a way to get the audience involved. The third Cole Porter song was "Love for Sale" sung by the lovely trio of Yolanda DeByle, Ellen Miller and Laury Rosenthal (whatever happened to her?).
Next up was a funny tune by PDQ Bach called "My Bonnie Lass She Smelleth" which was performed by a quintet consisting of Jason LeBrun, Fernando Ruelos, Billy Sauerland, Alyssa Stone and Scott Turco. Then came a song from "Seussical, the Musical" called "Alone in the Universe" and sung beautifullly by Dale Danley and Van Mares.
Next came a song that was "deranged" by Joan Goldman. This was her take of "California Dreamin" and she called it "California Drinkin" which was performed by Joan, Jason, Tom McElroy and Noam. Then came a wonderful performance by Cole singing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."
Next was Jae Truesdell with Adele's wistful "Someone Like You" and then came the finale with the chorus back to sing about "The Glory of Love." All in all this was another successful Love Bites for the chorus and we raised a good bit of money for the chorus.
My next entry will be about our spring concert, "Guns 'n Roses: Songs of War 'n Peace."
Cheers, Michael Lucero
2014, Part 5: My Favorite Sings
Hello faithful readers, First I would like to tell you a little bit more about our Artistic Director William Sauerland. One of the things he told us from the start was that his favorite singer ever is Julie Andrews. That is why this concert was called "My Favorite Sings" and features a photo of Julie as Maria in "The Sound of Music" singing in the Alpine meadow. For this concert he had asked his friend and mentor, soprano Audrey Luna, to join us in this concert. When he told us this we all knew we would have to step our game. But for one reason or another this did not quite happen in our rehearsals as Billy would have liked it to have been. Billy came from a professional singing background and here was directing a community chorus. The low point came in one rehearsal as we were singing "Both Sides Now" and we were not quite getting it done to his satisfaction or ours. He said that if we did not do better he would call Audrey and tell her not to come sing with us. So it was rather an uncomfortable situation for all of us. The good news is that we did pull it together for the concert as we always had done so here is the program.
My Favorite Sings, MCC, 150 Eureka Street, November 14 and 15, 2014.
The concert opened with us singing "Famine Song" which was followed by "How Can I Keep From Singing?" which had been a chorus favorite from past directors and concerts. Next was "I Hear America Singing" and then "Harriet Tubman," another chorus favorite. Then we sang the beautiful Hebrew song "Erev Shel Shoshanim" followed by Eric Whitacre's wonderful "This Marriage" which we dedicated to the Marriage Equality fight. Next we sang Samuel Barber's "Sure on This Shining Night" and this was followed by "Muero Porque No Muero" with Audrey Luna singing her beautiful solo as the end of the first half.
The second half opened with "Ahrirang", a Korean folk song followed by the Irish folk song "Down By the Sally Garden" with Jason LeBrun on flute. Next was "The Blue Bird" again with Audrey soloing on this. Next was "You Are the New Day" followed by Lennon & McCartney's "Can't Buy Me Love" in a Gregorian chant style. Next we sang "Tenderly" oh so tenderly followed by "Both Sides Now" - yes we sang this to Billy's satisfaction. Next was "Seize the Day" from "Newsies" and our finale was selections from "The Sound of Music." Through all the drama of rehearsals for this concert we came through with flying colors for an inspiring night of music.
I will be taking a week off next week from the Corner as I will be in Tucson at the GALA Leadership Symposium with Michael and Robert and Dale and I will be attending a workshop about GALA liaisons and learning more about GALA Festival coming up next year in Minneapolis so I will have news for all of you when we are back in rehearsals.
Cheers, Michael Lucero
2014, Part 4: Let It Shine
Hello to all my faithful readers. I had recently been going through some more of my chorus archive folders and found a draft schedule for our 2011-2012 Fall Season with our AD, William Sauerland. Billy had informed us in July that we had been invited to participate in a performance by the Man Dance Company which would take place on August 13 and 14 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. This was the first time for the chorus to perform in that beautiful theatre. The Man Dance Company were performing dances to the music of Shawn Kirchner and songs from his album called "Meet Me on the Mountain." Check this out on iTunes or Spotify. Several of the songs were about persons who would rather dance or be with someone of their own sex rather than someone of the opposite sex. The chorus sang backup on a couple of these songs and we also sang music from the film "Brokeback Mountain" that we had been rehearsing for our upcoming fall concert. The dance company danced to that as well. This was a good collaboration between us and the dance company and we had the chance to sing before a new audience.
Let It Shine! a Gospel Music Concert, MCC, October 18, 2014.
This was another collaborative concert and the chorus were the guests of the MCCSF Worship and Praise Choir under the direction of Grace Renaud, who has been a singer and accompanist of LGCSF over the years. The guest soloist was Juanita Harris, a wonderful singer, violinist and pianist.
The concert began with Wendy Tobias and Michael Cronin soloing with the MCC Choir on "Let the Church Rise" and this was followed by "Operator" which was made famous by Manhattan Transfer and then came "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" with a solo by Skip Purdy who also sang with us. Then a quintet of MCC singers called Queentet sang "Ain'a That Good News" and "God Bless the Child." Then Grace Renaud and Elisa Shore sang the Indigo Girls song "Closer to Fine." Then came Juanita Harris singing "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Down by the Riverside" accompanied by Queentet, then "Dig a Little Deeper in God's Love" and "God Never Failed Me, Yet." To end the first half were two sing alongs "Shabbak & Sunrise/Sunset" and "We've Come This Far By Faith."
The second half began with "Bye & Bye" sung by MCCSF and LGCSF with Elisa singing a solo. Next we sang "I Hear America Singing" with words by Walt Whitman and then we sang "Famine Song." Next Wendy sang "Here's One" and this was followed by "Bless Me." Then came another sing along "This Little Light of Mine" and MCCSF sang "Dig a Little Deeper." Next the trio of Wendy, Grace and Michael C. sang "Get Happy." Then Juanita Harris came on to sing "Amazing Grace" which was amazing and "Holy, Thou Art" and then we all ended with everyone singing "Amen!"
This was a concert in which we got to sing some new music in a new style and to participate with the people at MCCSF who graciously extend to us the use of the church for our rehearsals. Thanks to all of them.
Next week will be all about "My Favorite Sings."
Cheers, Michael Lucero