Great choral singing is a heartening thing. It recreates the idea of a community with harmony and added melodies. It reaches for the idea of perfection, and mimics the heavenly in its unself-conscious evocation of spirit, showing how individuals can become greater than themselves when grouped and well-conducted.
It’s true of big choirs, but also of that classic old all-American artform the barbershop quartet, which has recently started incorporating its doo-wop offshoots as a means toward new relevance. There’s something about the music created by nothing but human voices.
This Saturday night, April 27, the 110-year-old Mendelssohn Club of Kingston presents its annual Spring Concert, following four months of two-hour Monday-night rehearsals, plus countless time spent running the scales and practicing parts solo. At the Old Dutch Church in Uptown Kingston, Club members will be joined for the occasion by the Kingston High School Choir and Kingston High School Brass Choir.
Founded in 1903 “to promote interest in choral group singing; to promote friendship, sociability and culture among friends of music; and to lawfully do any and all things necessary, suitable and proper for the accomplishment of these purposes,” the Club is named for the great German composer of Jewish background whose songs and choral works were popular when the first glee clubs, many of them all-male, were founded in his name in the early years following the Civil War in New York and Philadelphia.
With more than 50 singing members, the Mendelssohn Club of Kingston is conducted by former Kingston Schools music teacher and deputy superintendent D.A. Goodemote and presents a mixed-bag repertoire of classical lieder, Broadway show tunes, opera bits and pieces and other works from the last three centuries. They will be preceded on Saturday night by the Footlighters Barbershop Quartet. Expect a crowd; these are some of the region’s leading lights of business, politics and volunteer society. And after all that rehearsing, they’re good.
Mendelssohn Club of Kingston, Saturday, April 27, 8 p.m., $10/$8, Old Dutch Church, Wall Street, Kingston; (845) 331-7171, https://mckny.org/kingston.htm.