Schola Cantorum's spring concert was one of those marvelous evenings that during the event, leave audiences wanting more and afterward, eagerly awaiting the community chorus' next performance.
That opportunity won't arrive until Schola's annual Christmas concert. In the meantime, the group anticipates growing beyond its current 12 members as vocalists from the now-disbanded Okaloosa Chamber Singers seek new choral music performance opportunities.
"When You Believe," the May 5 concert held at the First Presbyterian Church of Crestview, was a delightful mix of traditional choral selections and Broadway standards.
Particularly enjoyable among the non-show tune selections were Mozart's "Regina Coeli" and John Davis' enchanting "You Are the New Day" — "a new piece to us," director John Leatherwood said.
And then the curtain rose on a glorious cornucopia of music from the Great White Way and West End.
Favorites included Rebecca Wendel and Sara Florence's duet on "In His Eyes" from "Jekyll and Hyde," and Richard Montague's solo of "To Each His Dulcinea" from "Man of La Mancha."
Leatherwood countered Montague's song with "The Impossible Dream" from the same Mitch Leigh, Joe Darion musical. Montague returned to solo on "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat" from "Guys and Dolls."
That show doesn't rank high on my list of Broadway favorites, but does feature some great songs, and "Sit Down..." is one of them. Montague performed it very well.
The concert's title number, "When You Believe," the 1998 Academy Award-winning Best Original Song from "The Prince of Egypt," concluded the evening with gusto.
With the audience hesitant to leave, Leatherwood jokingly said, "I'm sorry; that's all we know."
We know he's fibbing, and come December, we'll be back for more.
I hope you'll join us.
Monday's audience was entirely too sparse for such great music by such accomplished singers.