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Chamber Music on the Hill presents Gershwin's story as told through his music

Chamber Music on the Hill presents Gershwin's story as told through his music
Chamber Music on the Hill will host the American Music Theatre Artists' performance of "By George! By Ira! By Gershwin!" on March 10. (Courtesy Photo)

The ensemble musicians of the American Music Theatre Artists will present “By George! By Ira! By Gershwin!” in a concert hosted by Chamber Music on the Hill (CMOTH).

The quartet will present the story of George Gershwin alongside narratives about his life and text and visuals that will be projected behind the musicians.

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“Carolyn [Black-Sotir, vocalist] and ensemble capture the Gershwin spirit — vibrant, brash, bold, and uniquely American,” according to a news release from CMOTH.

The program was first toured widely in 1998 to celebrate Gershwin’s 100th birthday. The performance in Westminster is close to the roots of the quartet, which is based in the Baltimore area.

The members of the ensemble are Carolyn Black-Sotir, host/soprano; R. Timothy McReynolds, piano/tenor; Arno Drucker, piano; and Tom Williams, bass.

The performance will be held Sunday, March 10 at 3:30 p.m. in The Scott Center at Carroll Community College, at 1601 Washington Road in Westminster.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, or $10 for ages 60 and older and veterans. Admission for students at any level is free.

John W. Holbert, chair of the Board of Directors, said of Gershwin’s work, “It’s a kind of music that’s extremely accessible because of of its rhythmic energy and the beautiful melody of the songs.”

Especially in his opera “Porgy and Bess,” a strong jazz influence contributes a very American sound, said David Kreider, CMOTH artistic director.

The performance is a chance for fans of Gershwin to hear his famous works performed with the intimacy of a four-person ensemble. But it is also a chance for those new and old to his work alike to learn about the story of his rise to a influential American composer whose work is still revered today, Holbert said.

In an era where reproducing music was difficult, Gershwin was finding his audience playing in Tin Pan Alley. By the time of his death in 1937, he was working in Hollywood writing scores.

The mission of CMOTH is to expose as many people to the form as possible by bringing the music into their community at cheaper ticket prices than it would be in bigger cities, Holbert said.

“The intimacy of being there with four musicians and the music they will present … People will be in awe of what they are able to do.”

For more information, visit mcdaniel.edu, search CMOTH: Chamber Music On The Hill on Facebook or call 410-857-2259.

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