Passionate Voices of the Upper Cape
FALMOUTH CHORALE PRESENTS A RETROSPECTIVE OF AMERICAN SONG
The Falmouth Chorale, under the direction of John Yankee,
will offer an inspiring and eclectic retrospective of American
song. “I Hear America Singing” will be performed at
4:00 PM on both Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7,
at John Wesley United Methodist Church, 270 Gifford
Avenue in Falmouth. The Chorale will be joined by
members of The Woods Hole Folk Orchestra and tenor
soloist Duane Moody. Audience sing-alongs will be
The concert transports singers and audience through
music from a broad sweep of American history. It takes its
title from Walt Whitman’s poem of the same name and
features songs showcasing our unique American voice and spirit. In Whitman’s words, “I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear, each one singing . . . as it should be blithe and strong . . . Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
The Chorale will begin with a Navajo prayer, sung in the form of a round, followed by “Chester,” a popular soldier song of the Revolution composed by William Billings. The audience will join the Chorale to sing a Revolutionary War medley including “Yankee Doodle.” A trio of tunes, written or adapted by Aaron Copland follows, including a ballad, a minstrel song, and a choral square dance from “The Tender Land.”
The Falmouth Chorale Chamber Singers will present John Yankee’s arrangement of Woody Guthrie’s beloved “This Land is Your Land.” Those attending will be invited to sing the early 19th century folksong and gospel tune “Wayfaring Stranger.” Guest tenor Duane Moody will sing a traditional spiritual, “Give Me Jesus,” accompanied by the Chorale. Then, the men of the Chorale will present selections from the musical “1776” with a surprise performer in the role of John Adams.
The second half of the program begins with a sing-along of folk songs associated with America’s westward expansion, followed by the Chorale’s women performing scenes from the musical “Quilters” which depict the life of frontier women. Duane Moody will lead the chorus in selections from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” in which Moody toured extensively in the role of Sportin’ Life. The role of America in welcoming immigrants and refugees is recognized in Irving Berlin’s “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor,” based on the 1883 poem by Emma Lazarus. In a rousing finale, all will join in an energetic arrangement of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!”
Tenor Duane Moody has enjoyed a career of international proportions for over two decades as a solo performer in recital and orchestral appearances, opera and musical comedy. In his stint as principal tenor with both the off-Broadway and touring versions of “Three Mo’ Tenors,” Moody applied his classical technique to ten different styles of music from opera to rock and roll. This versatility will be on display in May as he joins the Chorale for many selections.
The Woods Hole Folk Orchestra, that for years has been a mainstay of local “Old Time Gospel Nights” led by John Yankee, will help lead the audience sing-alongs and accompany other folk music on this concert program.
Partial support for this concert comes from the Falmouth Track Club and from the Chorale’s Community Partners: The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod and The Cape Cod Foundation. Concert tickets are $25 for adults in advance, $30 at the door; student tickets are $5. To order tickets or for more information, visit www.falmouthchorale.org or call 774-392-2383. Tickets are also available from members of the Chorale and at the usual outlets: Eight Cousins Books in Falmouth, Uncle Bill’s Country Store in North Falmouth, Market Street Bookshop in Mashpee Commons and Titcomb’s Book Shop in East Sandwich.