Grafton, MA, Apple Tree Arts celebrates its Community Chorus and graduating students with a heartfelt, beautiful “Spring Concert” Friday, May 16, 7:00 p.m. at Grafton Middle School, 22 Providence Road in Grafton. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and free for youth and children. Tickets are available at the door.
“We are presenting a dynamic evening of musical entertainment as well as honoring our seniors and showcasing their talent” noted Donna Blanchard, executive director of Apple Tree Arts. The concert program features romantic and Americana songs sung by the 25 member Apple Tree Arts Community Chorus and a variety of classical and popular music performed by the seniors.
The Community Chorus directed by Chuck Brown and accompanied by pianist Elizabeth Mack will perform several songs that will be first read as a poem, before they are sung. “The music makes the poems come alive,” Mr. Brown explained. “When we started rehearsing in February, we began by learning the notes and the phrasing. When the music is matched to the words, the result is spectacular,” he added.
The concert’s repertoire includes Dave and Jean Perry's “How Do I Love Thee,” Marta Keen's “Homeward Bound,” and American folk songs, including “The Water is Wide,” and "Shenandoah." The dramatic song “The Awakening” by Joseph Martin will also be sung.
“The concert is a way for us to recognize the hard work our graduating seniors have done over the course of their study with us,” said Paul Surapine longtime Apple Tree Arts faculty member and Executive Director of The Claflin Hill Music Performance Foundation, Inc.
Callum Smith and Kristyn Wooldridge are two Grafton High School seniors who have studied saxophone with Mr. Surapine for many years. Mr. Smith is a member of the Claflin Hill Youth Symphony Wind Ensemble. Ms. Woolridge participated in the Massachusetts Lions Club All-State Band in 2012 and 2013.
Two Millbury High School seniors, Charles Rogan and Peter Murray, are Mr. Surapine’s students, too. Mr. Rogan has studied tenor sax with him. He is a member of the Claflin Hill Youth Symphony Wind Ensemble. Mr. Murray, who has studied clarinet with Mr. Surapine, was selected to participate in the Massachusetts Central District Band.
Nick Lawrence studied Tuba with Russell Jewell, brass instructor. Mr. Lawrence has played in the pit band for Apple Tree Arts summer theatre.
Two vocalists will perform during the concert. Grafton senior Noelle Scarlett has studied theatre arts at Apple Tree Arts for a decade appearing in many shows from “Beethoven’s Bookworms” in 2004 to “Anything Goes,” last summer’s musical. Ms. Scarlet has appeared in many Grafton High School productions. Megan Whittles has studied voice at the community school of the arts for three years. Ms. Whittles of Westborough has studied with Monica Hatch and most recently with Susan Upham.
Founded in 1989, Apple Tree Arts, a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization has grown to serve over 1,000 children and adults annually with early childhood music classes, group keyboard lessons, private music and voice instruction, ensembles, theatre arts programs and concerts. For more information, visit www.appletreearts.org.