by Jeffrey Carter
I’m just in from the debut of my friend Kevin McBeth in his first concert with the In Unison Chorus and Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.
The concert featured full winds, brass, and percussion; reduced but still lively strings; and a full-blooded chorus.
And what a joyful time we/they all had! Mack Wilberg arrangements of hymns mixed handily with traditional African-American spirituals. A bit of The Testament of Freedom rang true, and the audience responded mightily to Lift Every Voice and Sing.
Kevin was joined for a portion of cello concerto by a Julliard-trained cellist. He led the orchestra in a witty arrangement of Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer (just blocks from the building where Joplin lived in Saint Louis early in the last century).
I’m proud of my colleague and friend, and a bit jealous. We were blessed to have Kevin with us at Webster for a while. In Unison’s gain is at our expense, but we wish him well and cheer him on!