Friday, April 26, the Cumberland Oratorio Singers close their 2018-19 concert series. At the Matthews Ministry Center in Huff Auditorium on the Methodist University campus, COS, under the direction of Jason Britt, presents “A Night of Screen and Stage.” COS wraps up its 27th performing season by highlighting musical numbers from Broadway and Hollywood productions.
“This concert marks the end of my second season (as director) and a season where the COS have done works that aren’t their usual fare,” said Britt. “We’ve included jazz, Broadway works and movie themes to try and connect with our audience, offering them options of a lighter fare.”
According to the COS website, musicals originated in France in the 1800s where they were called “Opera Comique,” distinguishing them from the traditional opera of Wagner et al. George Bizet and Jacques Offenbach were notable among those composers who contributed to the genre that would become the modern-day musical.
Wikipedia gives credit to the 19th century works of Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain and Harrigan, and Hart in America, for contributing many structural elements to the genre, as did the later works of George M. Cohan. In the 20th century, musicals moved beyond comedies and revues. Modern-day musicals such as “West Side Story,” “Les Miserables,” “Rent” and “Hamilton” call for considerable character development in addition to memorable musical scores.
Featured in Friday night’s performance will be well-known songs from “Man of La Mancha,” “Singing in the Rain,” “Chicago,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “White Christmas,” among many others. Soloists are yet to be determined and will be selected from the choir before the evening’s concert.
The 2018-19 COS concert season has been sponsored in part by The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County; Cumberland Community Foundation; Cumulus Radio; Rebecca F. Person, attorney at law; Florence Rogers Charitable Trust; Rimtyme Custom Rims and Tires; and Lafayette Lincoln. Lafayette Ford is the presenting sponsor for “A Night of Screen and Stage.”
“Next season,” said Britt, already looking ahead to rehearsals, “we will be going on a musical excursion, making musical stops at the opera (in) London and eventually returning home to America.”
In the interest of continuing professional caliber choral music in Cumberland County into the next generation and beyond, under the COS umbrella, the Campbellton Youth Chorus is open to all Cumberland County and Sandhills region youth ages 9-14.
“The CYC provides vocal development, music literacy and unique performance opportunities,” according to the COS website, where further information about rehearsals and other opportunities can be found.
“A Night of Screen and Stage” begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $15 for adults and $5 for students with ID. Season tickets will also go on sale for the 2019-20 concert series at $45 per ticket.
Visit www.singwithcos.org for more information.