Ebenezer to hold concert premiere

Published 9:26 pm Monday, October 2, 2017

A Newport News-based choir will perform a new piece for its first performance in Suffolk on Sunday.

The Virginia Choral Society will perform at Ebenezer United Methodist Church in the Eclipse community at 4 p.m. More than 90 VSA singers, along with a four-piece jazz ensemble and elementary and middle school students, will perform for what’s expected to be a full house.

The performance is part of the “Blue Skies” concert series from Friday to Sunday for the United States premiere of Vive La Vélorution, or Song Cycle, by Alexander L’Estrange, a world-renowned British composer.

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The Friday concert will be at 7:30 p.m. at 99 Thomas Nelson Drive in Hampton, and the Saturday concert will be held at 4 p.m. at 6807 Huntington Ave. in Newport News.

The composition takes listeners from the 19th-century origins of the bicycle through to the present day. L’Estrange was commissioned to write the piece for the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire.

VCS member Phyllis Wells said the performance will include opportunities for the audience to sing along, along with plenty of props, sound effects and humor.

“There are some funny pieces in the music of women wearing bifurcated garments on a bicycle and how un-lady like it is,” Wells said.

L’Estrange visited VCS on Sept. 24 to rehearse the 10 songs, including “Daisy, Daisy” and “Fine and Dandy.”

“It was one of the most incredible music experiences in my whole life,” Wells said. “It’s the best thing that can happen as a singer, to work with a composer of a music you’re about to present.”

A member of Ebenezer United Methodist Church, Wells said she is confident her church be the ideal venue for her society to conclude the concert series and to make a splash in Suffolk.

“The acoustics are fabulous and they have a very strong music program at that church, so I knew we would be supported,” she said.

General admission tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Senior, military and student discounts are available. Visit vachoralsociety.org for more information.