After skipping its spring concert last year, Cantus Columbus director William Bullock laughed that “everyone forgot about us.”
Cantus Columbus, the only professional chorus in town, presents its big concert during the holidays every year. That concert is sold out every year.
However, with the weather getting nicer and people leaving town on early vacations, Bullock said the spring concert is not as well attended.
In 2007, he highlighted the music of Cole Porter. In 2008, he chose the music of Rodgers and Hart. Last year, he pleaded exhaustion and skipped the concert.
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This year, he’s presenting “Love Is Here to Stay — The Music of George and Ira Gershwin.”
He’s mixed up the program, with some songs accompanied by just pianist Janie Lee Bullock and others by the Vega Quartet of Emory University in Atlanta. Other songs are sung a cappella. Some of the songs feature both the piano and the string quartet.
Three of the songs are sung just by the women and four of the songs feature just the men.
The Gershwin brothers are known for such standards as “Embraceable You,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “I’ve Got Rhythm” and “I’ve Got a Crush on You.” The audience will be able hear those songs, but some lesser-known tunes like “But Not for Me,” “Feeling Sentimental” and “He Loves and She Loves.”
The brothers even wrote some novelty tunes like “Slap That Bass,” “Sweet and Low Down” and one of Bullock’s favorites, “Blah, Blah, Blah,” which will be sung by the men of Cantus Columbus. He said that song features “very clever lyrics.”
George and Ira Gershwin won the Congressional Gold Medal in 1985. It was just the third time that songwriters were given that honor. Irving Berlin and Harry Chapin are the other two.
“It’s wonderful,” Bullock said of the Gershwins’ music. “It’s fun. I found some good arrangements. It will be a fun evening for the family.”
Bullock admits he promotes the holiday concert heavily but not this one.
“I lot more people would come if they knew about it, and I know they would enjoy it,” Bullock said. “We’ll have a good audience and they will hear a great concert.”
Because Legacy Hall is so much smaller than the Bill Heard Theatre, this concert has sold well. About 100 seats are left.
While Bullock has not thought about next year’s spring concert, he’s leaning toward the music of Jerome Kern.
Maybe the best of the songs by the composers he’s already highlighted.