MORRISBURG – Last August St. James Anglican Church was packed as 14 talented young singers and dancers performed a special concert featuring the music of the Great War. At the end of a thoroughly enjoyable evening, the young artists earned a standing ovation.
On Friday, July 19 and again on Saturday, July 20th, at 7:30 p.m., at St. James Anglican Church, the wonderful singers and dancers with the Youth Opportunities in the Arts will be returning with a new and exciting concert.
We’ll Meet Again features the music of World War II, and will take members of the audience on what promises to be a wonderful “sentimental journey” back to the glorious songs of 1939-45.
In honour of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, singers and dancers will perform the songs that meant so much to young Allied soldiers, off fighting in Europe It is the music they loved 75 years ago, music that is still beloved.
Hear again Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade. Remember with nostalgia Over the Rainbow and Sentimental Journey. And delight in the Andrews Sisters’ ‘hep’ rendition of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.
Chris Coyea, has joined other teacher/musicians in working with the students to put this production together, and promises “wonderful and stirring music from the World War II era, including a beautiful tribute to Vera Lynn, the sweetheart of the airwaves.” Among the Vera Lynn classics the cast will perform: We’ll Meet Again, When They Sound the Last All Clear and A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square.
The concert will feature many, many other great songs from the era as well, all delivered by a cast of 18 performers ranging in age from 12 to 24. Based on the immense popularity of the 2018 World War I production, there will be two shows in Morrisburg.
The cast includes some recent graduates of the St. Lawrence College music theatre program and some students enrolled in music at University. The young artists, who come from several communities including Morrisburg, Iroquois, Kemptville and Brockville have been rehearsing under the guidance of the Youth Opportunities in the Arts program centred in Brockville.
“The Youth Opportunities in the Arts was created to make up for programming no longer being offered in the schools due to budget cuts,” Chris Coyea explained. “The board of the YOA is made up of nine current and retired teachers as well as two student reps.”
The teachers who are working with the young artists, themselves bring a wealth of knowledge and talent to the program.
We’ll Meet Again is being staged by Sam Crosby and Harold Hess with Crosby also designing the choreography for the show.
Musical direction is shared by South Dundas singer/musician/teacher Margaret Whiselle and noted professional artist Coyea.
During the performance, Margaret will be on the piano, James McKenzie on the drums.
Acknowledging the importance of the arts to young people, and helping to ensure that they will continue to have a showcase for their talents, RTO, the Retired Teachers of Ontario, is again sponsoring the YOA production.
We’ll Meet Again is a rare opportunity for audiences to re-live an era that gave rise to some of some of the best-loved songs and musical numbers of the 20th century, all performed by a new generation of young artists.
“The kids loved the World War I concert so much,” Coyea said, “that they specifically asked if we could do a World War II musical tribute.” Tickets are available in advance or at the door.