HSU Prof Brings Celebrated Music from the American Archives to Life
"My grandfather, who passed away this last November, would have loved it," said Dr. Lynnette Chambers as 14 of her voice students practice for one of Chambers' now legendary recitals of American pop classics.
The Hardin-Simmons University professor of voice scored big with audiences in 2011 as her vocal students performed 1960s classic Disney tunes dressed as, among other characters, Siamese cats and Pinocchio. Inspired by her daughter, Julia, Chambers wanted to put together a program even a four-year-old could love. Last year, Chambers updated the Disney theme with songs from
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Little Mermaid.
When Chambers' grandfather turned 94 in 2012, she taught her students classic tunes from greats like Cole Porter and Al Jolson; songs like "Come Fly with Me" and "I Get a Kick Out of You" were a tribute to her grandfather. "He introduced me to this type of music and the people who made the music famous," reminisced Chambers.
This year she introduces her students to the songs of World War II in the "Songs and War" recital. "It is a program full of great tunes," said Chambers. "I think these kinds of songs teach students how to sing in a different style and they also learn a little bit of our country's history."
Chambers said she selected the World War II era because she loves the music of that time. "I think it is interesting to see how this World War influenced the entertainment world. My grandfather was the reason I selected the Rat Pack concert we did a few years back, and being that he was a World War II veteran who fought in Guadalcanal, I had him in the back of my mind when I selected this theme. I am just sad he will not be able to hear it this time."
The free concert includes songs performed by 14 of Chambers' voice students, which includes the crowd-pleaser "I'll Be Seeing You" from the movie
Right This Way
(1938), performed by alumnus and former HSU baseball player, baritone Sam Walker. Watch for "String of Pearls" from
The Glenn Miller Story
(1941), performed by senior soprano Ariel Adams.
The audience is sure to love Mackenzie Rock's rendition of Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," and HSU junior Krista Sharpe, and the full company of singers, performing the finale "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive."
The recital is open to the public and performed free of charge in the Woodward-Dellis Recital Hall on the Hardin-Simmons campus. The recital begins at 7:30 p.m.
Chambers said songs are generally short and the concert will last about 40 minutes.
Songs and War recital
Sunday, March 30, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Lee Hemphill Music Complex
Woodward-Dellis Recital Hall (2434 Cedar St.)
Hardin-Simmons University campus