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Singing Hoosiers free concert to feature music of Cole Porter and friends

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Singing Hoosiers, one of America’s most popular show choirs and often considered Indiana University’s ambassadors of song, will pay tribute to one of Indiana’s most iconic jazz composers, Cole Porter (1891-1964), in a free concert.

“Cole Porter and Friends” is scheduled for Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. in Auer Hall at the IU Jacobs School of Music. A repeat performance will be the following night, Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. in the same location.

Directed for 15 years by Jacobs Professor Michael Schwartzkopf, the Singing Hoosiers will feature many of Porter’s hit songs, such as “Night and Day,” “Begin the Beguine” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” The ensemble will also perform two medleys of music by George (1898-1937) and Ira (1896-1983) Gershwin and will end with four songs written by Irving Berlin (1888-1989), including his first big hit, “Alexander’s Rag Time Band,’ written in 1911. All four composers lived around the same time and were giants of popular music, writing for the stage, screen and concert halls at the beginning and into the middle of the 20th century.

Cole Porter was born to a wealthy family in Indiana and, defying the wishes of his domineering grandfather, took up music as a profession. His actual success began in the 1920s and by the 1930s, he was one the top major songwriters for the Broadway stage.

George and Ira Gershwin composed over two dozen scores for Broadway and Hollywood. Among their best known works for the stage is the opera ‘Porgy and Bess,’ which premiered in 1935.

Irving Berlin, composer and lyricist of Jewish heritage, is widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. Composer George Gershwin called Berlin “the greatest songwriter that has ever lived,” and composer Jerome Kern concluded that “Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he is American music.”

The Singing Hoosiers concert will feature several student soloists: Emily Schultheis and Abigail Kunkel will be featured in songs from Porter’s hit show “Anything Goes”; Caroline Billinson, Rachel Fernandez, Taylor Ford, Alexis Ebers and Quentin Bemis will sing songs from “Kiss Me Kate”; Justin Klein and Michael Day will lead singers in “Night and Day” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”; and in tribute to George and Ira Gershwin, Madeline Stern will sing “Summertime,” and Elizabeth Duff, “Embraceable You.”

As is common for most performances by the Singing Hoosiers, the Varsity Singers will enhance many of the songs with choreography, set by choreographer Julian Ramos.

R. Ryan Endris, the associate instructor in the Jacobs School of Music for the Singing Hoosiers, will conduct a portion of the program.


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