‘Legendary’ chorale concert blends voices in perfect reunion (with video)

Trisha Atluri, Executive Entertainment Editor

From Madonna to The Beach Boys and Mozart to Nirvana, the Coppell Community Chorale delivered a program chock-full of musical legends for two hours straight on Saturday at the Coppell Arts Center.

The chorale’s fall concert, Legendary, focused on music from artists who have made a long-lasting mark on the music industry and featured covers by lively tenors, lilting sopranos and mesmerizing a cappella.

Trisha Atluri

“Legendary itself was a theme we were saving [for] when we could all sing on stage again,” CCC president Bethany Henze said. “For the past 18 months, we’ve been in very small groups and moving all around, so this was the first time the entire chorale could sing together. We figured with big songs, we needed all [our] voices. When we ended up this fall in this brand new space, [the Coppell Arts Center], we wanted music that would be showcased well.”

The show opened with American folktale “Steel Drivin’ Man,” before the Variation Ladies Ensemble paid homage to female legends in the trio of Dionne Warwick’s “Say a Little Prayer,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” and an a cappella version of Madonna’s “Material Girl”. Act one closed on a high note with rousing melodies such as “There’s No Tune Like a Show Tune” from “Parade” and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary.” Highlights of the second part of the show include the energetic cover of Pentatonix’s “Sing,” John Legend’s “The Music’s Always There with You” and a surprise encore of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

For Coppell resident Chris Hall, the concert presented the ideal opportunity for an educational family outing. 

“This was an opportunity to come out and I wanted it to be something I could share with my girls and make memories together,” Hall said. “My daughters [are] interested in theater, so I wanted them to see that theater can be singing and [there are] different types of fine arts and performances.”

As the first show of the chorale’s live performance season, Legendary came with pandemic-era challenges. 

Trisha Atluri

Since March 2020, the chorale has kept busy, first with Zoom director-led rehearsals, where the board discovered the difficulty of virtual synchronization. Over the summer, they recorded socially distanced outdoor videos together which were then streamed online. As circumstances improved, the two Variations ensembles within the chorale performed separately at the farmers market and a new children’s choir was formed. 

The chorale has come a long way since then, with performers being allowed to sing maskless in Legendary if they tested negative for COVID-19 in the previous 72 hours.

Music lovers have the remainder of the season to look forward to, with the new Children’s Chorus scheduled to perform its first concert, Once Upon a Time, on Nov. 6. The full chorale will have its annual holiday show on Dec. 14 at the arts center.

“Making music together is the best part,” CCC vice president Deb Wood said. “Even if we performed for no one, we would still love singing together.”

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