The ’20s began with the aftermath of WWI and ended with the onset of the Great Depression. In between, it was an era of unprecedented social, artistic, and cultural dynamism.
SVC celebrates the decade with a collection of some of America’s most cherished songs, including music written by Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Victor Herbert, and more.
The Chorale’s Roaring ‘20s Pop Concert features a special guest appearance by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. Rick Benjamin is the group’s founder and director, and this marks the third time he’s collaborated with SVC music director and conductor William Payn.
“Bill and I go back a long way together,” Rick says. “I’m a big fan and he’s a good friend, too. Bill approached me a few years ago about staging a Roaring ’20s performance together, and it’s exciting to finally see it come to fruition.”
Rick isn’t just leading 12 incredibly talented orchestra musicians on the stage. He’s also played a key role in programming – researching, cross-referencing and making final selections from hundreds (“a very big pile”) of potential scores.
But the collaboration didn’t end there. “Bill and I have been working closely together at rehearsals. I will be conducting the first half of the concert, Bill will lead the second.”
Attention to detail and historical accuracy marks the concert’s programming. “Our performance will be an accurate, note-for-note rendition of those wonderful classic compositions,” Rick reports. To him, Showboat is a special highlight. “This is truly a groundbreaking musical based on a serious dramatic novel with a strong moral message.”
Rick promises an “exciting and fun” concert. “It’s music for the entire family. Older audience members will recognize our familiar Roaring ’20s numbers. Younger ones will appreciate hearing these wonderful old standards and learn from the experience. I hope to see you there!”