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Everett Chorale opens an 'American Sampler'

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By Theresa Goffredo
Herald Writer
  • Lee Mathews is the Everett Chorale's music director.

    Everett Chorale

    Lee Mathews is the Everett Chorale's music director.

There's a lot of entertainment on tap when the Everett Chorale performs its tribute to choral classics, traditional American folk songs, spirituals, and sacred and secular songs in "An American Sampler" on Sunday.
"There are some nice folk songs, and spirituals, and jazzy numbers and a revival song," said Lee Mathews, who is marking his 20th season as artistic director. "There's just a whole slug of stuff."
The 70-voice chorale will present patriotic songs from George M. Cohan, whose "big three" pieces are "Yankee Doodle Boy," "Give My Regards to Broadway" and " You're a Grand Old Flag."
There's patriotic then there's a nod to the musical with a medley from "Oklahoma!" by Rodgers and Hammerstein, that will include "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top," "I Can't Say No" and "People Will Say We're in Love."
The chorale will also present a variety of spirituals such as "Simple Gifts" and "Good News" and will sing works by Randall Thompson, best known for his choral pieces.
"Randall Thompson is a monument to American choral music," Mathews said. "His music really speaks to the American genre."
Other featured American composers will be William Schuman, Alan Hovhaness and Gerald Kechley. Hovhaness did "Mysterious Mountain" based on Mount Rainier and Kechley composed "The Golden Opera."
The audience will also hear for the first time "Triptych of the Rock" by Northwest composer Bruce Buckingham.
The text of "Triptych" is inspired by several psalms, Mathews said.
Mathews described the pieces as having a "unique harmonic structure that have a very clear personality."
Mathews was a college classmate of Buckingham's at the University of Montana, where Buckingham dabbled in a variety of areas, including early childhood education, computers and DNA testing but always kept his hand in music.
"He really is quite a brilliant man," Mathews said. "These pieces haven't been performed yet and I thought they were worthy to be heard by the public."
"An American Sampler" will be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday at Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett.
Tickets are $16 and $14. Go to or call the Everett Performing Arts Center 425-257-8600.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424;
Story tags » MusicEverettGo See Do

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