EASTON — Easton Choral Arts Society will present its spring concert, “Look to the Day,” on May 19 and May 22 at Christ Church Easton. The concert will fill the air with uplifting songs focusing on peace, courage, inspiration, self-betterment, and connecting with others — all featuring a wide variety of musical styles, including classical, folk, Gospel, Broadway, and even Caribbean, accompanied by Conga drums.
“We’re stepping a little out of our comfort zone with an arrangement of Harry Belafonte’s Caribbean-style ‘Turn the World Around’ and a joyous Gospel arrangement of ‘Amazing Grace,’ featuring a rousing piano part for Becky Zinser, ECAS talented accompanist. It’s a very different program for a group used to singing mostly classical music. And it’s fun!” said Terri Wroten, board member of the ECAS and soprano section captain.
Easton Choral Arts Society is thrilled to be back again in person following its in-person holiday concert. When planning for the spring 2022 concert, the selection committee decided to use some of their favorite music, which had been planned for a “hope concert” scheduled for last spring which had to be canceled due to the complexities of virtual rehearsals and licensing issues.
Among the featured songs will be the seemingly ageless Christian hymn “Amazing Grace,” which was first published in 1779. Its poignant text came to life seven years earlier, by the hand of English poet and clergyman John Newton. This spiritual found popularity in the United States through Baptist and Methodist preachers, who often chose it to be performed at their services. And years later, it would become well-known as the anthem of the Civil Rights movement — despite its author being a former slave trader.
Other featured songs, include “Let the River Run” composed by Carly Simon as the theme song of the movie “Working Girl.” The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1989. “Choose Something Like a Star” was composed by Randall Thompson for his well-loved “Frostiana” song collection. The song features lyrics by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Frost.
Two songs with international influences include “Turn the World Around,” a Calypso-style piece by Harry Belafonte, replete with conga drums, and songs from “The Lion King,” which uses two African languages. The music of “The Lion King” was written by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, who, early in his career, collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on many Broadway musicals. “The Lion King” musical won six Tony Awards.
The “Look to the Day” concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19, and at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 22, at Christ Church Easton. Tickets are $25 each and students are free with a reservation. Visit eastonchoralarts.org or phone the ticket hotline at 410-200-0498.
Easton Choral Arts Society Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization funded in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot Arts and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.