April 26th, 2013
The Susquehanna Valley Chorale (SVC) will create a musical time machine for concert-goers with its upcoming performance of “Sock Hop” Pops at the Weber Auditorium, located on the campus of Susquehanna University. Two nights of doo-wop featuring talented local chorale members performing the biggest hits of the ‘50’s along with dancers and live music will take place Fri., May 3 and Sat., May 4 at 7:30pm.
Music of the ‘50’s provided needed relief to a country that was experiencing great social upheaval. With its big voiced singers, popular music or “pop” integrated country, western, rhythm & blues and folk into the musical mainstream. It gave birth to the disc jockey, sock hop, poodle skirt and saddle shoes as well as played a significant role in ushering in the era of rock and roll.
SVC’s “Sock Hop” Pops performances will feature some of the most popular music of the ‘50’s decade including “Bandstand Boogie” which was the theme song of American Bandstand for many years and “Mona Lisa” which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Favorites including “The Great Pretender,” “Johnny Angel,” “At The Hop,” and “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” will be performed by chorale members in their finest fifties fashions.
“Our goal is to inspire and entertain audiences by showcasing our amazing pool of talented, local singers who hail from all walks of life,” said Kelly Beard, SVC executive director. “Each season we offer a diverse range of concert performances but I have to say that from watching rehearsals, the Sock Hop is by far the liveliest and most fun-filled production we’ve done this year.”
General Admission tickets are $22/$8 for students and can be purchased at the door, online at svcmusic.org or by calling the SVC office at 570.547.0455.
For more information on SVC auditions, performances, membership as well as rehearsal and performance schedules, continue perusing www.svcmusic.org or contact Kelly Beard, SVC executive manager at 570.547.0455.
April 25th, 2013
Members of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale recently enjoyed an outing to Weaver’s Ice Cream Shop and Pizza in Allenwood, Union County. Singers will be featured at our “Sock Hop” Pops Concert May 3 and 4 as soloists, trios and quartets performing some of the most memorable songs from the ‘50s.
Singers dressed in their concert costumes to celebrate the Rockin’ and Rollin’ ‘50s with authentic props and a way cool backdrop. Their night out on the town was a chance to let their hair down, enjoy a lot of fun together and get ready to grab the microphone to belt out some classic oldies for their Pops “cool cat” audience!
The photos were taken by Chris Stratton; we’re lucky to have him as a SVC member! Thank you, Chris!
March 19th, 2013
This weekend the Susquehanna Valley Youth Chorale (SVYC) takes to the stage with a selection of some of the best music written for the stage, from oratorio to opera to rock ‘n roll. The concert features music by Jacques Offenbach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Harold Arlen, Gioacchino Rossini, RIchard Rodgers, David Brunner, Irving Gordon, Felix Mendelssohn, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Queen.
The Youth Chorale performs in concert Sunday, March 24, 3 PM, at Zion Lutheran Church, 15 S. 5th St, Sunbury. In the church’s superb acoustics and under the direction of Valerie Flamini Caldwell, the Youth Chorale’s three levels – Preparatory, Camerata, and Valley Singers – will present “From the Stage.”
The Preparatory Chorus, the youngest level of singers, will open the program with music from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and feature Jessep Caravella, a Valley Singers member from Danville. Camerata singers will offer distinctively different stage music, performing from the 1846 oratorio Elijah and Spiritual Musick composed in 2010. The latter was “purchased” in an auction by thirteen children’s choirs from the US, Canada, and Scotland. Thirteen premieres of this piece occurred on separate stages throughout 2010-2011 in addition to a notable performance by the Children’s Honor Choir at the 2011 national conference of the American Choral Directors Association. The quirky text was written in London by Christopher Smart during his confinement for insanity between 1759 and 1763.
The high school Valley Singers perform music from Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, singing in German. Featured are Angelina Rodkey and Riley Cellitti of Sunbury, David Wolfe of Shamokin, and Timothy Panarese of Middleburg. The Neighbors’ Chorus from La Jolie Parfumeuse, a comic opera of 1873, showcases Everett Kopp of Winfield and Kara Heim of Herndon.
One highlight of the concert is Unforgettable, originally made famous by Nat King Cole. This rendition brings together the Youth Chorale and their grandparents and features a duet by SVYC singer Emily Wetzel and her grandfather David Reier. The Preparatory Chorus delights with the Comic Duet for Two Cats related to Rossini’s opera, Otello, with a duet by Natalie Mathews of Sunbury and Kylee Noble of Middleburg. The singers then sing of their “favorite things” from The Sound of Music, led by soloist Kira Bealer of Selinsgrove.
Valley Singers reproduce the beautiful sound of the group Celtic Women, as they perform two works which have had worldwide success on the stage and through recordings by this Irish phenomenon. A musical memorial to those who experienced loss as a result of Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy will showcase the Camerata singers, accompanied by the youngest and oldest levels. Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz featuring Aleah Spiro of Lewisburg, and Somebody to Love spotlighting Natasha SImeonoff of Selinsgrove and Austin Duclos of Winfield brings the concert to a close.
The SVYC, an educational outreach of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale (SVC), offers two sessions a year, fall in Lewisburg and the current winter session in Selinsgrove. It draws young singers from Williamsport to Middleburg, and from Mifflinburg to Shamokin. Nearly 70 singers in grades 2 through 12 will perform.
“From the Stage” concert tickets are available at the door March 24 or at the svcmusic.org ticket page: $10 for adults, $5 for students, and children 6 and younger free. For information, call the SVC office, 570-547-0455.
February 26th, 2013
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26: At 11:00 yesterday morning, SVC got some great airtime on WVIA radio’s “Art Scene.” The broadcast, promoting our upcoming performance of Stabat Mater by composer Karl Jenkins, included NPR host Fiona Powell, SVC conductor William Payn, board member & singer John Dromazos, and several movements from the upcoming performance. The interview was very professionally done, and Bill and John shared their fascinating insights on this powerful, sacred work.
We sent out a quick email notice to our mailing list (literally) just a few moments before airtime and were gratified to learn how many “opens” and “click-throughs” there were to WVIA’s live stream. In case you missed tuning in, the interview will be available as a podcast on WVIA’s website (wvia.org) later today, and will also be broadcast on Williamsport’s WVYA (89.7 FM) this Wednesday at 3:00.
February 6th, 2013
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Leave Lewisburg by bus at 7 a.m. – leave NYC at 7 p.m.
Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards including best musical, ONCE is an original Broadway experience. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, ONCE tells of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up his musical dream when a beautiful woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights, but their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than your every day romance. Emotionally captivating and theatrically breathtaking, ONCE draws you in from its first note and never lets go. It’s an unforgettable story about going for your dreams and the power of music to connect.
Cost: $199/person – includes round-trip bus transportation, continental breakfast en route, orchestra ticket to 2 pm matinee of ONCE, and dessert on the way home. Proceeds benefit the Susquehanna Valley Chorale
Reservations required by March 1st
Please contact Georgeann Eckstine: 570.259.0281 or email@example.com
February 6th, 2013
Quote by William Shakespeare
Kwok Ngai and William Payn
One of the many behind-the-scenes tasks SVC management does is grant writing. While it’s a tedious, time-consuming process, grants are an important part of our revenue stream. We were recently successful in winning one from Cherokee Pharmaceuticals, a company based in Riverside, PA. And that’s when the story comes “full circle.”
Pictured is Cherokee staffer Kwok Ngai awarding a $1900 grant check to SVC’s William Payn. Coincidentally, turns out the two of them aren’t strangers. Kwok was a music student of Bill’s at Bucknell and also sang with the Chorale for two seasons. Do you believe in karma? We do!
December 4th, 2012
(NOVEMBER 20, 2012 – LEWISBURG, PA) – Amidst the holiday hubbub, delightful occasions of good cheer abound this time of year in our area. One such occasion is the upcoming 2012 winter concert, “Picture Perfect,” performed by the Susquehanna Valley Chorale. Whether you enjoy classical, religious or holiday music with an international flavor, all three offerings will be featured in one performance taking place Sat., Dec. 8 and Sun., Dec. 9 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Sunbury.
The Chorale has also decided to serve up something extra for the holidays while playing off the concert title, “Picture Perfect,” by inviting guests to arrive to the concert early to have their holiday photo taken. Each guest that has their picture taken before the concert will receive a free 4×6 framed holiday photo to take home with them.
Three distinct works by three, beloved, modern composers will fill the air each night of the concert. The first work, A Ceremony of Carols was written by British-born composer Benjamin Britten who is considered a central figure in 20th-century classical music. He wrote the masterpiece in 1942 while at sea traveling from the United States to England prior to WWII. It features bold and fresh settings of text from the Medieval English celebration of Christmastide. Originally conceived as a series of unrelated songs, the work was later unified into one piece framed with strong, melodic Gregorian plainchant overtones.
The second work featured in the performance is Paul Csonka’s Concierto de Navidad which will be sung in Spanish and features harp, chorale and strong Latin influences. To describe Austrian composer and conductor Csonka as a “character” is putting it mildly. The composer, who chose to pursue his love for music over financial wealth, was accused of being a spy by the U.S. government and contemplated assassinating Fidel Castro when Csonka settled in Cuba.
Editorial Note: To ensure Concierto de Navidad, a true example of traditional Spanish Christmas music, was sung correctly, the Chorale turned to one of its members for help. Bernarda Holguin, originally from Ecuador and currently teaching at Bucknell University has been singing professionally for 11 years and has been acting as the Chorale’s Spanish language coach throughout rehearsals for the winter concert.
The third and final work included in the performance is Dancing Day by John Rutter. Rutter, primarily a composer of religious music, described himself as “inspired by the spirituality of sacred verses and prayers.” Born in England, Rutter is popular among choral groups throughout the world. Written in 1942, Dancing Day showcases Rutter’s musical genius by retelling the central event of Christmas simply and vividly in a collection of lively, uplifting dance tunes.
“Picture Perfect,” the Susquehanna Valley Chorale’s winter concert will be performed Sat., Dec. 8 at 7:30pm and Sun., Dec. 9 at 3pm at Zion Lutheran Church located at 5th and Market Street in Sunbury.
For more information on auditions, performances, membership as well as rehearsal and performance schedules, please visit www.svcmusic.org or contact Kelly Beard, SVC executive manager at 570.547.0455.
November 28th, 2012
Over the summer, we commissioned a survey to gauge awareness of the Chorale, its reputation, and various aspects of how and why Valley residents choose their entertainment venues. Two hundred people attending a variety of events participated — ranging from First Friday in Williamsport, Iron Heritage Days in Danville, and Blueberries and Bluegrass in Mifflinburg.
A few of the key findings include:
- Virtually half of the participants were aware of the SVC.
- Of those who had, approximately 40 percent attended a concert in the past.
- Those same attendees reported a unanimously favorable impression of the Chorale. “Talented, well led”…”Very professional”…”Entertaining, never disappointed!”
- Not surprisingly, age has a big impact on how people prefer to learn about their entertainment options. For example, of people aged 25-59, more than half get their event info on-line. Of those aged 60+, 85 percent prefer traditional media, mostly newspaper.
We’re very pleased with the positive reaction the SVC has earned by our concert-goers and eager to attract even more fans. To do that, we’re continuing to ramp up our on-line presence while maintaining visibility in traditional media.
Please be sure to tell all your friends and family about the Susquehanna Valley Chorale!
November 20th, 2012
Can you remember anticipating the winter holidays as a child? The magic, the fun, the beauty of the season, the traditions relived, the candles, the love given and received. And all those images have skillfully been transformed into music. How much more heartwarming when the voices of children are re-creating those memories for us in song. Under the direction of Valerie Flamini Caldwell, the Susquehanna Valley Youth Chorale (SVYC) transfers us back to those times when they present their upcoming Winter Concert.
The Youth Chorale performs in concert Sunday, Dec. 2, 3 PM, at First Presbyterian Church, 18 Market St., Lewisburg. In a candlelit setting, the Youth Chorale’s three levels will present “Illuminate” in the church sanctuary. Their musical works will reflect images of love, tradition, beauty, laughter, and magic.
The women of the Chorale’s high school Valley Singers open the program with Ubi Caritas by Ola Gjeilo, with a sound medieval and contemporary using unison Latin texts which broaden into modern harmonies. Gjeilo is a young Norwegian composer now based in the United States. The high school men join the women in the medieval English song Good Cheer, and the Scottish lullaby Baloo Baleerie featuring a men’s quartet, all with a theme of “love.”
Remembering “tradition,” the middle-school aged Camerata singers perform Unending Flame by Paul Carey, a piece commissioned by the Michigan State University Children’s Choir which celebrates the flame of Hanukkah. In Hanukkah Holiday, the young Preparatory Chorus of the Chorale exuberantly sings the arrangement of popular youth composer Linda Swears.
The focus turns to “beauty” with Camerata performing Candlelight Carol, a work by world renowned British composer John Rutter, and the always popular Carol of the Bells. Do you remember it? “Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, throw cares away…” A fitting work to end this section is Beautiful December by Amy Bernon, an original lullaby full of beautiful winter images and sung by the Valley Singers.
Ready for some smiles and fun? The Preparatory Chorus offers up the infamous Chipmunk Christmas Song, featuring a boys trio, and lets us know that “All I Want is……Nuttin’.“ (You won’t be able to listen to these without laughing!) For a magical climax, all three levels of the Susquehanna Valley Youth Chorale unite for a lush arrangement of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, first sung by Judy Garland back in 1944. This Little Light of Mine, a children’s gospel song from the 1920’s, ends the “Illuminate” concert with all voices telling us to ” let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”
The SVYC, an educational outreach of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale (SVC), offers two sessions a year, fall in Lewisburg and winter in Selinsgrove, and is experiencing its largest fall Lewisburg session. It draws young singers from Williamsport to Middleburg, and from Mifflinburg to Shamokin. Over 100 singers participated last season in sessions in Lewisburg and Selinsgrove, performing a fall Veterans Day Youth Benefit Concert and a winter World Music Concert. Plans are underway for a Youth Choral Camp in Lewisburg next summer.
“Illuminate” tickets are available at the door or online at svcmusic.org: $10 for adults, $5 for students, and children 6 and younger, free. Or call the SVC office, 570-547-0455. Seating is limited.
New singer auditions (grades 2 – 12) for the Selinsgrove Winter Session will be held Sat., Dec 15, at Sharon Lutheran Church, 120 S. Market St., Selinsgrove. Rehearsals begin in early January and culminate in a March 24th concert at Zion Lutheran Church, Sunbury.
For more information or to schedule an audition, contact Coleen Renshaw, firstname.lastname@example.org, 570-837-0634, or click here to find out more.
November 20th, 2012
In collaboration with the October 5th Susquehanna Valley Chorale/Williamsport Symphony Orchestra performance, the SVC conducted a high school art contest, calling for art focused on R. Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, performed that evening.
Over 30 entries were received from the home-school community, Northumberland Christian School, Midd-West, Montgomery, and Shikellamy high schools. Judged by members of the Lewisburg Arts Council, all entries were displayed in the lobby of the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, Bucknell University, the night of the performance.
Winners were: First Prize, Alexis Mendoza, 17 (right), Shikellamy High School; Second Prize, Alyssa Wesner, 17, Northumberland Christian School; Third Prize, Jordan Hunt, 14, Northumberland Christian School; Honorable Mention, Emily Zook, 18, Shikellamy High School.
Artists were challenged in this related arts project to create a work based on a portion of the music and text from Dona Nobis Pacem by studying the text and listening to YouTube performance excerpts.
Thank you to Lewisburg High School art teachers, Cyndy Shaffer and Christy Emigh, for assistance in contest guidelines and display. We recognize art teachers Tracey Mitchell of Midd-West, Al Stola of Montgomery, Ingrid Howard of Shikellamy, and Naomi Ilgenfritz of Northumberland Christian School for their participation.