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July 26, 2011 > DMT Chorus rocks the night from Bach to Bebop

DMT Chorus rocks the night from Bach to Bebop

By Janet Grant

There was music in the Hayward Hills Friday night surrounding the beautiful Douglas Morrison Theatre. Angelic, electrifying, classic, jazzy, and swingin' music rang out with the Morrisson Theatre Chorus presentation of "Bach to Bebop - Four Centuries of Choral Favorites".

Why Bach to Bebop? As Cesar Cancino, the Morrisson Theatre Chorus Musical Director, explained it, "It sounded good." Well to this ear, it not only sounded good, it sounded wonderful! A night of some very eclectic and difficult pieces were handled exceptionally well by a very impressive choir. From Mozart's "Gloria in Excelsis," to J.S. Bach's "Prepare Thyself, Zion" and "Crucifixus" from "Mass in B minor," through gospel, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, show tunes, pop favorites, rock, and bebop, four centuries of choral favs were enjoyed by an appreciative audience.

Among the many great selections of the evening a few especially stood out as crowd hits. These included the harmonic a cappella marvel "Double, Double, Toil, and Trouble" based on Shakespeare's "Macbeth," by Jaakko Mantyjarvi; "Misty" by Erroll Garner and Johnny Burke, soulfully sung by Paul Jackson; "On a Clear Day" by Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner, engagingly sung by Ron Tanon; the swingin' scat pick, "CloudBurst" by Jon Hendricks, Leroy Kirkland, and James Richard Harris; and the rockin' "T-R-O-U-B-L-E," by Jerry Chestnut, with Christina Sonas and Elke Sommer on vocals, and Len Gasiorek on electric guitar.

Morrisson Theatre Chorus' second concert of the 2011 season was definitely a night of fun musical entertainment presented by a choir that appeared to be having a really good time. And that fun was hard to resist as tune after tune elicited a grateful response from the audience.

Along with the choir itself, were concert musicians Jessie Micek on piano, Aaron Schaul on Bass, and Scott Welsh, Drums and Percussion. Both musicians and chorus were under the amazing leadership of conductor Cesar Cancino, who incidentally, plays one "mean" piano.

The three-day run of Bach to Bebop was definitely a hit, and the hard-working chorus will be back again in December for its final performance of the season with "In the Holiday Spirit - Classic songs for a special time of the year."

The Morrisson Theatre Chorus is a program of the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District and open to any singer 16 and older wanting a great opportunity for artistic expression and social participation. No audition is required.

To join the Chorus, you need to register for one of four classes, depending on your voice type, through the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District. You may register on-line at or call the Box Office at (510) 881-6777 for additional information.

Performance dates for "In the Holiday Spirit" are Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17 evenings at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoon, December 18 at 2 p.m.

Douglas Morrisson Theatre
22331 N. 3rd Street, Hayward
(510) 881-6777
Box Office is open Tuesday - Friday: 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Adults, $15; seniors, $12; students, $10

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