Showing posts with label The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware. Show all posts

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Rainbow Chorale Shines and Shares the Holiday Light

By Christine Facciolo

The weather outside was frightful...but the voices of The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware were oh so delightful at St. David’s Episcopal Church in North Wilmington on Friday evening, November 30.

The Rainbow Chorale
Delaware’s first LGBTQ vocal ensemble offered its holiday concert — Share the Light — under the very capable direction of Anthony M. Condoluci-Smith, the group’s interim artistic director.

The success of any choral concert naturally lies in the quality of the singing and this was an evening of some mighty fine singing.

Condoluci-Smith assembled a program that showed off the voice to best advantage as it underscored the ensemble’s mission of inclusion and acceptance.

The program opened with a welcoming gesture to the audience as it sang the playful You’re Home for the Holidays and the concert’s namesake Share the Light, which emphasized the urgent need for people of diverse backgrounds to come together in love and acceptance. The theme continued with Where There is Light in the Soul, a setting of a Chinese proverb and True Light, featuring the solo voice of Jay Simmons.

The ensemble celebrated the holiday traditions of other cultures and ethnic groups with performances of Ocho Kandelikas (Eight Candles) featuring the soaring soprano of soloist Anne E. Shuman, An African Celebration, Ding Dong Merrily on High (the beloved French carol) and from Estonia Ule Lume Lagedale (Over Snowy Winter Roads).

The program recognized that the holidays are not always a happy time for some (Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind) but gave hope that there is still peace (There Will Be Rest) to be found if we look to the light of the stars and listen to the music of the stillness.

Of course, there is plenty of joy in the holidays and that was reflected in a jazzy rendition of the traditional We Three Kings (think Dave Brubeck’s Take Five) Deck the Halls (in 7/8 time no less) and Irving Berlin’s Snow, which recalls a child’s playful romp in the white stuff.

PRISM, the chorale’s ensemble of select voices, offered two selections 
 Northern Lights and Sure on this Shining Night — that described the mystery and emotion of starlight as it guides us through life as well as O Magnum Mysterium, which told of the mystery of the miraculous birth.

The ensemble would return in the second half of the program with a rollicking rendition of Jingle Bells and Dashing Through the Snow.

The concert concluded with members of the chorale surrounding the audience to sing The Work of Christmas, reminding everyone that the good will of the season does not end with the holidays.


Monday, March 30, 2015

A Musically Nostalgic Trip Through Our Favorite TV Memories

Guest Blogger Rebecca Klug is the Manager of Marketing for the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts and an enthusiastic advocate of the community-building power of the arts.

The Rainbow Chorale's As Seen on TV! showcase on Friday, March 27, was an entertaining romp through a range of favorite television theme songs and other classic TV moments. The rustic Arden Gild Hall setting and "heavy hors d'oeuvres"  which turned out to be a table laden with fried chicken, meatballs, mashed potatoes, corn, meatloaf, vegan polenta lasagna and a selection of homey desserts  established a feeling of an old-fashioned community get-together right from the start.

The chorus, under the direction of Elinor Armsby, led off with The Muppet Show Theme and moved on to other iconic openers like All in the Family's Those Were the Days, The Big Bang Theory's History of Everything, the Sesame Street Theme, and a medley of themes from classic shows like Laverne & Shirley, the Brady Bunch, Bonanza and I Love Lucy.

No lyrics, no problem! We heard vocal adaptations of instrumental pieces like the Theme from Star Trek, and — in possibly the strongest performance of the evening — Henry Mancini's Peter Gunn. In addition to full-chorus features, musical numbers ranged from a solo performance of David Bowie's Life on Mars sung by Denise Conner to a female quartet singing I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Wiener in barbershop style, to a rousing rendition of Friends' I'll Be There For You sung by a male sextet, all dressed in their respective Friend's part.

Between musical numbers, chorus members performed costumed skits — a conversation between Archie and Edith Bunker, a gender-bending Star Trek episode — and recreated classic commercials like "Where's the Beef?," "Mikey Likes It!," and even Saturday Night Live's "commercial" for New Shimmer Floor Wax/Dessert Topping.

Throughout the concert, the audience participated enthusiastically, overpowering "Ed Sullivan's" stilted introduction with shrieks and shouts of "Beatles!!" during a recreation of the band's famous performance of I Want to Hold Your Hand and singing along (with more energy than accuracy) with Schoolhouse Rock's Constitution Preamble. By the time the chorus closed with The Golden Girls' Thank You For Being a Friend, it felt like a genuine and heartfelt send-off to a room packed with still-laughing supporters.

The Rainbow Chorale, established in 1999, is an inclusive, nonprofit community chorus that provides LGBT individuals, friends and allies an opportunity to perform choral music while serving as a positive force for change.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Auditions, Auditions!

It's audition time in Delaware ArtLand, folks!  Here are a few auditions happening in and around the Wilmington area. 

The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware: Open Call
Monday, Sept 15, 2014 • 6:00–7:00 pm
Westminster Presbyterian Church • Pennsylvania Avenue & Rodney Street • Wilmington DE
Friendly Joining Process & No formal audition. Non-Singers & Volunteers welcome!
Visit the RCD's website for more details, or send an email to the Artistic Director.

Wilmington Drama League: Auditions for Waterspout Hero
Chrysalis, Youth Theater at the Wilmington Drama League, will hold auditions Monday, September 15, 2014, 4:30–6:30pm & Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 4:30–6:30pm for this Pillow Play that will run November 1-9, 2014 at WDL. Age range is 7 to 12 years old.  Auditions are cold reading from the script. Get more information about our free Pillow Play shows by kids for kids.

Wilmington Drama League: Auditions for Big, The Musical
Auditions Sunday, September 14, 2014, 7:00–10:00pm & Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 7:00–10:00pm. Callbacks, if needed, will be on September 29, 2014, 1:00-4:00pm. 

All auditions will be at the Drama League. All roles are open, no appointments are necessary.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Celebrating Summer Love & Music with The Rainbow Chorale

By Guest Blogger, Christine Facciolo
Christine holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music and continues to apply her voice to all genres of music. An arts lover since childhood, she currently works as a freelance writer.

The winter gear is packed away. The sun is shining. And the beach is just a drive away. Summer is a-comin’ in, and The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware welcomed the season on June 30 at the Arden Gild Hall with a program that swept away any lingering memories of the winter we thought would never end.

There was something for everyone in this concert — and that’s before mentioning the raffle, the food and the goodies for sale. What better way to start the program than with a medley of summer anthems from the Beach Boys. The ensemble had Fun, Fun, Fun with In My Room and California Girls (or Guys, depending).  Delaware Baby Boomers probably recalled the first time they heard those tunes played on the radio station of their youth: 1380 WAMS.

Fans of Disney’s Oscar-winning animated film Frozen got treated to a performance of In Summer, as “Olaf” merrily danced along, eagerly anticipating summer but blissfully ignorant as to what the heat had in store for him.

Denise Conner, Evan M. Malin, Chris Phelan and Barbara Williams extolled the powers of strychnine and cyanide, ably demonstrating the black humor in Tom Lehrer’s Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.

The imagery in the Tepper-Bennett penned Summer Sounds was rendered all the more nostalgic by the a capella quartet of Tony Adubato, Michael A. Bareham, Anthony M. Condoluci and Michael Hovendick. Their voices were smooth and melodic, and blended remarkably well.

The mood got a bit more serious when sopranos Anne Shuman Urban and Cynthia E. Robinson stepped into the spotlight for their solos. Shuman Urban applied her crystalline voice and expansive range to Gershwin’s Summertime, while Robinson delivered a powerful interpretation of Summer Me, Winter Me.

The ‘60s were again represented with selections like Under the Boardwalk, Those Lazy, Hazy Crazy Days of Summer and Dancing in the Street. And what summer concert would be complete without a performance of Alan Sherman’s classic, Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh? This one did not disappoint!

Yanaka Bernal assumed the role of the jilted lover in her rendition of Runaround Sue. Her loyal and faithful friends offered support and backup vocals, until “Sue” in the person of Robinson strutted by taking one as conquest.

The Great American Songbook got its due with a performance of Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies. Spirited performances of Summer Nights from the legendary Grease soundtrack and the B-52's Love Shack rounded out the program. Collaborative pianist Andre Vermeulen capably handled accompanist duties and revealed talents on the accordion as well.

The Chorale’s volunteer coordinator, Josh Yoder, served as “lifeguard/emcee,” sauntering onstage between selections, bantering with the audience and reading with utmost expression water-safety tips from the American Red Cross and The Onion—while never passing up the opportunity to supply a well-placed double entendre or observation.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware is BUSY BUSY BUSY!

The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware's schedule in the coming month is quickly filling. Starting with an Open Call for singers on September 9 & 16 and rehearsals already under way for the epic performance they're presenting with local supergroup IN THE LIGHT — a stellar night of music by QUEEN at World Cafe Live at the Queen on Friday, September 13 (see details below).  Get your tickets for this one, soon, folks.  If In the Light's previous performances are any indicator, this will be sure sell-out! 

In The Light performs an evening of Queen at “The Queen”
featuring The Rainbow Chorale

Friday, September 13, 2013
World Cafe Live at The Queen
• 500 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE
Doors: 7:00pm • Show: 8:00pm • TICKETS: $20
Buy today at World Cafe Live website

Out-of-this-world Wilmington rock band, IN THE LIGHT, will perform two full sets of Queen's music, giving full tribute to Queen’s rich orchestral-rock sound. The Rainbow Chorale will be prominently featured throughout the show. Song selections include, I Want It All, Who Wants to Live Forever, Killer Queen, The Prophet's Song, Fat Bottomed Girls, Somebody to Love, and of course, Bohemian Rhapsody plus many more.