Otero College Choir to present “Familiar tunes, New Takes: Songs Interpreted by Great Arrangers” on April 29th

Description: Dean Rees, Otero College Choir Director, is shown directing his students during a practice. Come enjoy the fruits of their hard work on Monday, April 29 at 7 p.m. in the Ed Stafford Theatre. All are welcome and the admission is free.

Published: 04/25/2024
Byline: SECO News

Otero College Choir to present “Familiar tunes, New Takes: Songs Interpreted by Great Arrangers”

LA JUNTA — The Otero College Choir will present a concert of familiar music arranged by great arrangers on Monday, April 29, at 7 p.m. The program will take place at the Ed Stafford Theatre on the Otero College campus and admission is free.

Entitled “Familiar Tunes, New Takes: Songs Interpreted by Great Arrangers”, the choir will present a plethora of fun and entertaining music that highlights the role of the arranger, i.e. the person who takes a given musical piece and transforms it into something new. And sometimes startlingly new! Mr. Rees, Otero College Choir director, has chosen some of his favorite arrangers to demonstrate this idea. He’s selected music both familiar and popular. To mention a few highlights: a medley of some of the best tunes from Mary Poppins, tunes like Chim Chim Cheree, A Spoonful of Sugar, Let’s Go Fly a Kite, and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. “When the Saints Go Marching In” is arranged in a Dixieland jazz style with a Dixieland clarinet to boot. The Elvis classic “Blue Suede Shoes” is brilliantly and faithfully rendered by the master of popular music arranging, Kirby Shaw. And perhaps the most startling arrangement of all, Beethoven’s “Joyful Joyful” from his Ninth Symphony, is arranged in a disco style! Unbelievable, but true, and astonishingly the arranger has made it work! Soloists in “Joyful Joyful” are Kristin Langston, Kaydence Lagergren, and Mike Shima. The concert will close with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “It’s A Grand Night for Singing."

Other tunes showing off spectacular and skillful arrangements:  Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho; Tenting Tonight on the Old Campground; and Inscription of Hope.

A few soloists, a duet, and a female trio will share songs that surprise and enchant. Bob Chilcott, an arranger and singer with The King’s Singers, totally transforms two well-known tunes: “Waltzing Matilda” sung by Mike Shima and “Scarborough Fair” sung by Dean Rees. Kate Pruyn will show how a singer’s style can transform a popular song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Another Kirby Shaw home run, “St. Louis Blues”, is sung by a female trio consisting of Rebecca Grantham, Terry Miller, and Kate Pruyn. And La Junta’s own Douglas Golding has created a different kind of arrangement to be performed at the concert: he’s written new lyrics so that the Christmas-themed “How Many Gods” can be sung as an Easter piece! Douglas and Kristin Langston will perform it as a duet.

Jordan Borrego will play drums, Zach Mata will play bass guitar, and Jacob Martinez will play clarinet. The amazing Mary Belew accompanies on the piano. Mr. Rees invites one and all in the Arkansas Valley area to attend this fun and entertaining concert of popular music!

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