Went to a great concert on Saturday night! The North Las Vegas Stake Center Choir (under the direction of Bruce Green) and Orchestra (under the direction of Ray Brown) combined together this past weekend for “An Evening of Pops.”
I arrived at 6:30pm (for a 7pm show time) to an already packed house…not only was the chapel already filled to capacity, but so was the overflow area AND the cultural hall! There was so much excitement in the room, I could tell I was in for a great evening.
Honestly there were far too many wonderful moments in the program to name just a few. Beautiful pieces sung by the choir like “Hushabye Mountain” from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (featuring talented soloist Terazza Van Orden) and a surprisingly moving rendition of “Home on the Range” arranged by Mark Hayes (truly stunning!), and several really fun songs like “The Sow Took The Measles” and the clever “One Minute Madigal” by Donald Moore. The orchestra also had some particularly great moments, like their salute to the music of “Pirates of the Caribbean” (an obvious favorite of all the kids in the audience) and several beautiful selections from Carmen. Not to be forgotten was also the wonderful performance of “The Typewriter” by the orchestra and Marianne Brown, written by Leroy Anderson (famous for many other brilliant and novel compositions like “The Syncopated Clock,” “Sandpaper Ballet,” and the popular “Sleigh Ride”)!
In addition, there were several great soloists throughout the evening worth mentioning…some truly high caliber performances! Ashley Green and her husband Sam Green thrilled the audience with Francesco Santori’s “Time To Say Goodbye” (made famous by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman) and Sandra Huntsman (whom you may know from her many performances and costume designs with Signature Productions at the Summerlin Library Theatre) did a terrific job singing Alan Menken & Stephen Schwartz’s “Happy Working Song” from the film Enchanted. And since no evening would be complete without the appearance of a children’s choir, there was also a very nice arrangement of “When You Believe” (with soloists Heidi Gebs and Steve Matthews) featuring several of the children from the Stake.
The choir and orchestra finished the evening with their tribute to the Jazz Standards by doing a great Anita Kerr arrangement of “String of Pearls” and closing with a rousing rendition of “When The Saints Go Marchin’ In” by the always AMAZING composer/arranger John Rutter. What a FUN, FABULOUS evening!
By the way, I’d also like to mention that one other reason the evening was so FABULOUS, was the amazing job Dave Gunnell did as the sound engineer. It is extremely difficult to properly mic a choir, particularly when there are so many soloists as well, but add to that the fact that this performance was taking place inside a chapel building, not a concert hall, and Mr. Gunnell is to be sincerely commended for his abilities! Great job!
Oh, and I almost forgot the BEST part! The true stars of the evening were of course my mom and dad who are part of this great choir! They have both sung with several other choirs throughout the years, including two other choirs here in Las Vegas, and I happen to know that this choir is their favorite to sing with…not just because the choir is so good, but also because of their incredible director, Mr. Bruce Green. Not just a talented choir director…a truly NICE and CARING man. That kind of thing goes a long, long way…
The next combined performance of the North Las Vegas Stake Choir & Orchestra, that is open to the public, will be their Holiday Concert, December 13 & 14. It will be a FREE concert and will be held at the North Las Vegas Stake Center, located on Azure & Goldfield. You can email Janet Rogers at YourHeritageHobby@gmail.com for specific concert times and other information.