Choirs welcome a Beauty, a Beast and some opera
By Lana Sweeten-Shults
GCU News Bureau
The Canyon Chorale, Critical Mass, Beauty and, well, the Beast, too.
You’ll find them all at “Broadway, Opera and Beyond,” a fan-favorite concert annually that’s making a return 7 p.m. Thursday to First Southern Baptist Church of Phoenix.
“This concert is a concert we’ve done for eight years now. Our audience enjoys the variety and selection,” said Dr. Juan de Dios Hernandez, Assistant Dean of Music in Grand Canyon University’s College of Fine Arts and Production, who just helmed an Ethington Music Series choir concert in February.
That February concert focused on themes of faith – an important element in GCU’s choir concerts.
“In many ways, Broadway music and opera speak to the same themes of faith but from a different perspective,” Hernandez said, adding how love, courage, and trials and tribulations are related in many ways to faith. They are another way, he said, of looking at the human condition.
“God has built in us feelings and emotions that point us toward Him.”
The evening’s repertoire will include works from the recent film “Beauty and the Beast” along with selections from “Newsies” and a very Hollywood a-star-is-rising film, “La La Land.” It also will include a Broadway medley that has highlights from various shows, including “Into the Woods,” “Seasons of Love” (from the musical “Rent”) and “Seize the Day” (from “Newsies”).”
Also to be performed will be “You Will Be Found” from “Dear Evan Hansen,” which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2017.
In addition, several students will present opera arias that were featured during their senior vocal performance recitals.
The concert is leading up to the GCU choirs’ April 23 performance at Carnegie Hall in New York, where they will perform with the New England Symphonic Ensemble under the direction of Hernandez. It will be the first time in the history of the University that the choirs will be featured at Carnegie Hall. Hernandez was invited to conduct and extended the invitation to the University’s choirs.
Students have been raising funds for the Carnegie Hall trip for several months. Thursday’s concert is free admission, though the choir will be accepting donations for the trip.
IF YOU GO
What: “Broadway, Opera and Beyond” concert by the Canyon Chorale and Critical Mass
Where: First Southern Baptist Church of Phoenix, 3100 W. Camelback Road
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Admission: Free, though donations will be taken to help fund the vocalists’ April performance at Carnegie Hall
Information: 602-639-8800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can reach GCU senior writer Lana Sweeten-Shults at email@example.com or at 602-639-7901. Follow her on Twitter @LanaSweetenShul.