In a lighthearted excursion into a varied and somewhat less traditional realm of song and choral repertoire, Master Chorale of Flagstaff presents a “choralovely” show titled “Happily Ever After” at two venues at the end of February. Linking up with actors from Flagstaff’s community theatre company Theatrikos, this lively program takes to the main auditorium stage at Flagstaff High School at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, and is repeated at Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood on Sunday Feb. 25, at 3 p.m.
This year marks the 40th season of the Master Chorale of Flagstaff. The community chorus was founded in 1978 by former NAU Director of Choral Studies Millard (Mel) Kinney and has since occupied a prominent place in the musical and artistic life of Northern Arizona. It has been a few years since the Chorale has performed in the Sedona/Verde Valley area, and this will be a welcome return to the Cottonwood venue.
Master Chorale Director Tom Peterson describes this not-to-be-missed event as one of “storybooks, fairy tales, adventures, and made-up words” and features choral arrangements by American composers Aaron Copland and Stephen Sondheim, a Slovakian folk song setting by Hungarian composer Bela Bartok, and other selections from Broadway shows and Disney films. Peterson is interested in the common theme of “imagination” that can link various artistic efforts, whether choral or theatrical, and thus this joint effort with the local theatrical troupe.
In a program of this nature, says Peterson, “we invite the audience to come along with us and imagine the realization of the possibilities we suggest. We are always inviting people to leave behind the realities of their life and come along with us – in that sense, this a natural extension. In story and song, we offer a tale of adventure, parenthood, pirates, unicorns, etc.”
With that in mind, Peterson has designed a unique program that includes choral arrangements of show tunes and folk songs, most of which should be familiar to audiences and which admirably achieve that desired goal of “engagement” and “imagination”.
Tickets for “Happily Ever After” are available from brownpapertickets.com and at the door on the evening and day of the performances.