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‘The Great American Songbook’

Santa Clarita Master Chorale serves up standards and classics with style

Posted: December 2, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 2, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Leslie Garman sings "At Last" up close and personal.

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David Ewart’s Valencia Hills neighborhood recently “came alive with the sound of music.”

Ewart hosted the annual Cabaret & Cabernet fundraiser for nearly 100 guests to benefit the Santa Clarita Master Chorale.

“This is a homegrown event to raise funds for the Master Chorale and our holiday concert,” said Ewart. “The holiday concert is really fun for the entire family. It really helps people get in the spirit of the holidays.

The fundraiser featured a cozy backyard social, silent and live auctions, hors d’oeuvres, dessert, raffles and more entertainment than your average fundraiser.

Members of the Master Chorale took the theme — “The Great American Songbook” — and serenaded the guests who were packed into every nook and cranny of Ewart’s spacious home.

The evening began with Dean Smith, John Fairbanks and Brad Thurlow performing “Fugue for Tinhorns,” followed by Catherine Campbell singing “Sway.”

Amy Stevens entertained with a popular Gershwin medley and Stacey Smith offered the crowd “Stardust.”

Romance was in the air with Marybeth Margrave’s rendition of “When I Fall in Love.”

Sarah Eaton paid tribute to the moon with a trio of tunes, “Moon River,” “Blue Moon” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon.”

Cara Kowaiczyk sang a duo of beloved favorites, “Over the Rainbow” and “Bewitched.”

Janet Hedke sang “Too Marvelous for Words” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”

John Fairbanks sang the popular favorite “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”

Famed composer and pianist Mike Lang treated the guests to a medley of “Days of Wine and Roses” as well as his own compositions.

Lang has recorded more than 2,000 scores, working with nearly every film composer including John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Newton Howard, Henry Mancini, Elmer Bernstein, Hans Zimmer, with numerous screen credits for solo appearances

The musical “salon” also included performances by Mike Andrews of “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Smile” and “We Kiss in a Shadow,” Marie Gilbert singing “La Vie En Rose” and Andrew Heath performing “All the Things You Are” and “It Had to Be You.”

Comic relief was offered up by Master Chorale Artistic Director Allan Robert Petker and Linda Bonar performing “Anything You Can Do.”

Leslie Garman got up close and personal with the audience singing “At Last.”

The finale performance of the evening included Larry Wood and Kristin Frederick singing “You’re Just in Love.”

The singers were accompanied by a full band, with Steven Applegate and John Fairbanks on keyboards, Emilio Terranova on string bass, Sean Fitzpatrick on drums and Marissa Calille on trumpet.

Guests were treated to an assortment of unique hors d’oeuvres created by Jeanne Jordan served at their tables throughout the evening.

Santa Clarita City Councilman TimBen Boydston served as emcee and auctioneer for the evening.

“I am a huge supporter of the Master Chorale,” Boydston said. “They make incredible, beautiful music.”

Petker said the concert — “A World of Holiday Joy” — will include a children’s choir and Ottorino Respighi’s “Laud to the Nativity.”

“It is a tender piece about the nativity,” Petker said. “It is a beautiful, gorgeous piece. It’s one of the famous Christmas pieces performed all over the world.”

Petker said the concert will also include “some fun pieces that people will know and some surprises.”




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