Canterbury Choral Society Steps Out

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Canterbury Choral Society is gearing up for its upcoming 44th concert season. The 125-member adult chorus is set to take the stage October 27 at 8 p.m. for its opening concert, Broadway to Bricktown, at the Civic Center Music Hall. 2012 Tony Award Nominee and three-time Emmy winner Ron Raines will return to Oklahoma to perform with Canterbury during its first concert.

“In a city that loves musical theater, we could not be more thrilled to bring Oklahoma City University graduate Ron Raines back to celebrate Oklahoma talent,” says Randi Von Ellefson, Canterbury Artistic Director. “This concert is special and unique to Oklahoma as Raines makes his first return performance to Oklahoma with the voices of Canterbury and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.”

Broadway to Bricktown opens the Canterbury concert season with musical numbers performed by Raines and the Canterbury Adult Chorus from ChicagoGuys and Dolls and Man of La Mancha. This experience will make for a dynamic and enchanting evening. Raines, who will be appearing in October in the Broadway musical Newsies, will return to Oklahoma specifically to perform with the Canterbury choir for this one special engagement.

For its second concert of the season, Canterbury will bring holiday cheer to the stage with its holiday season performance, Baroque Christmas. The December 2 concert will showcase two of the most well-known Baroque composers and their most recognized pieces – Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Magnificat.

Canterbury will again share the stage with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic during this concert, celebrating Christmas tradition that has become a part of many Oklahomans’ Christmas customs. Bach’s Magnificat, tells the story of the Virgin Mary when she learns from the angel Gabriel that she will give birth to a savior.  Handel’s Messiah, written in 24 days celebrates the coming of our savior.  As he wrote the final monumental Amen, he confided later to a friend, “I think God has visited me!”

In collaboration with Oklahoma City University and fully staged, Canterbury will wrap up its season on April 13 with a musical theater piece composed by Leonard Bernstein. Mass, commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy during the tragic aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s death, premiered on September 8, 1971 and was part of the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  2013 marks the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s presidency.

Mass will be a theatrical once-in-a-lifetime performance,” continues Ellefson. “This epic musical work will be a combination of jazz and rock performed by street musicians, dancers, staging and chorus – truly an experience you won’t want to miss.”

The story reveals the drama of a priest whose faith is simple and pure at first, but gradually becomes challenged with doubt and suspicion. Mass is a testament to the priest’s doubts and his reaffirmation of faith.

“I am truly looking forward to this season,” said Kay Holt, Executive Director of Canterbury Choral Society. “It offers diverse, new experiences to the Oklahoma City community. From Broadway to classical and musical theater, there’s truly something for everyone.”

Now in its 44th season, Canterbury Choral Society has been encouraging the development of the arts through its multiple music education programs and attracting world-renowned performers to come and share their talents in Oklahoma City.  

For more information on Canterbury or to purchase tickets, call 405-232-SING or visit www.canterburyokc.comAlso, don’t forget to follow Canterbury Choral Society on Facebook!

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