Harmoneers Concert – The Harmoneers Chorale presented their spring concert Sunday afternoon, May 19th, to a packed house at The First Presbyterian Church in Hemet. Entitled “Red, White and Broadway,” the tone was set by a rousing “We’re Gonna Put on a Show,” and ended with the entire audience on their feet during “God Bless the U.S.A.” featuring baritone Mark Nelson.
Directed by Mary Ellen Van Ostenbridge, accompanied by pianist Charity Putnam and the computer-generated orchestrations of Ron Van Ostenbridge, the 40-voice choir wowed the 300 or more in attendance, who all proclaimed that they definitely got their money’s worth, glad they came and sorry when it was over.
Adding to the impact which got all of the audience deeply involved in the music were slide shows throughout the concert, put together by the director.
Among the crowd pleasers were medleys of songs from “My Fair Lady” and from many of the works of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, including the riotous, raucous “There’s Nothin’ Like a Dame.” Especially memorable was “Memory,” with soprano soloist Meredith Milton, who was a Harmoneers Chorale music scholarship winner in 2014, and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree,” a hit song by the Andrews Sisters way back in 1942.
Two very touching numbers bringing tears to the eyes of most in the audience were “Prayer of the Children” and “Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones.” There were many other impressive and memorable renditions by the chorale, which were thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Included in the program was the presentation of vocal music scholarships to two of this year’s high school graduates, Danielle Gamez, from West Valley High School in Hemet, and Hannah Libeu, from San Jacinto Valley Academy.
Warm congratulations to both of these young ladies. Danielle plans to begin her college education at Mt. San Jacinto College, then go on to Cal State Fullerton, while Hannah will be attending Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. This makes 68 vocal music scholarships awarded by The Harmoneers Chorale since they began entertaining the people of south Riverside County in 1977.
Their fall concert rehearsals will begin August 19.