Monday, May 14, 2018

Applause! Applause! Review of The Silver Chords' Spring Concert entitled Young At Heart: Songs Of Youth & Innocence at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens

This review of The Silver Chords' Spring Concert entitled Young At Heart: Songs Of Youth & Innocence at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church was written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and published in Volume X, Issue 8 (2018) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!

Young At Heart: Songs Of Youth & Innocence
Performed by The Silver Chords
Director/Conductor: Carl J. Ferrara
Accompanist/Pianist: Karl Schwarz
Stage Manager: Lee Jacknow
St. Andrew's Lutheran Church
30 Brooksite Drive
Smithtown, New York 11787
Reviewed 5/6/18

If you are looking for something to do on a Sunday afternoon, attending a free concert performed by The Silver Chords might just be the event you have been looking for. General Seating, $1.00 concessions, and a huge selection of gift baskets individually raffled off are just the cherries on a beautifully layered multi-flavored cake. You will experience an eclectic mix of some generally delightful and entertaining songs. During this year's Spring Concert entitled Young At Heart: Songs Of Youth & Innocence, I was particularly impressed with "As Long As I Have Music" (Lyrics by Don Besig & Nancy Price; Music by Don Besig), "Frere Jacques" (Traditional French Folk Tune) (Arrangement by Maurice Gardner), "The Thing" (Music & Lyrics by Charles R. Grean; Arrangement by Jay Althouse), "One Small Voice" (Music & Lyrics by Jeff Moss; Arrangement by Roger Emerson), "When I Grow Up" (from Matilda, the Musical) (Lyrics & Music by Tim Minchin; Arrangement by Simon Foxley), and "Go With A Song In Your Heart" (Arrangement by Jay Althouse). The same concert will be performed on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at Mary Immaculate Roman Catholic Church located at 16 Browns Lane, Bellport, New York. No reservations required. A pleasant time guaranteed!

The Silver Chords, previously named the Senior Citizens Chorus of Suffolk County, hasn't been exclusive to Senior Citizens for about a decade. There is no minimum age requirement. The misleading name, though, remains the same. There were soloists and The Minor Chords also made an appearance, especially during the performance of "Homeward Bound" (Music & Lyrics by Marta Keen; Arrangement by McKay Crockett). The first half of the program was stronger than the second. Obviously, you may like different songs than I did but the good news is that there are over sixteen (16) numbers for you to choose from as your favorites. My selection of the three biggest clunkers were the medley of songs from Rent,  the selection of Old American Songs (arranged by Aaron Copeland), and the couplet of "Lamiya's Song" with the angrier version entitled "My Name Is Lamiya (Don't Call Me Refuge)" based on a poem written by Lamiya Safarova, an Azerbaijani Refugee, who fled her home and village during the Nagomo-Karabakh War with Armenia. When other Azerbaijani children called her "Refugee" (the Azerbaijani word which also means "one who runs away"), she objected and wrote a poem where she begs to be called by her given name. I was not persuaded. Karl Schwarz, the pianist, made a number of errors, and Carl J. Ferrara, the conductor, could have selected a more inspiring and challenging musical program.

There are a few negatives associated with this group. First, the members do not memorize the lyrics. Second, no one seems to be in charge of minor "wardrobe malfunctions." Some shirts were untucked, some neckties weren't properly tied, and some suspenders appear to have become unclasped. There is also a great gender imbalance in favor of women. I also observed choral members complain about the heat, and the second the air-conditioner was turned on, others started complaining about the cold and the breeze. Another choral member confronted me saying I was speaking too loud for her comfort (after the concert was over), and during the post-concert dinner, there were more complaints than I could possibly detail here. Taking everything into consideration, I recommend The Silver Chords change its name to the Peconic Peacocks.    

With all that said, you can't go wrong attending the free concerts performed by The Silver Chords. After all, they are free and come with a money-back guarantee! To discover the dates of upcoming concerts, try-out dates, or to join their mailing list, visit their website at www.thesilverchords.com. You can also visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SilverChordsChorus or on Twitter @TheSilverChords. For more information, you can e-mail them at SilverChordsChorus@gmail.com