HANCOCK -- The 5th Annual Omega House Benefit Recital of mostly vocal music will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock. This year’s theme is "Many Waters" -- Songs of Seas, Lakes, Streams, and Fountains.
"Heed the call to go the sea: feel the moist sand between your toes, taste the salty breeze, go fishing or harvest kelp near the shore, sail far away, feel the rising waves, plunge through the storm’s crashing waves, wait hopelessly at the shore for your loved one’s return," says Ruth Robertson, recital coordinator. "Or not… sit instead by a still Loch Lomand, or the Rosenlagen or Keweenaw Bay, watching twinkling harbour lights."
Ruth Robertson, recital coordinator and mezzo-soprano, presents performers during the 2010 Omega House Benefit Recital. (Keweenaw Now 2010 file photo)
New this year is jazz guitarist Steve Jones, who will join baritone Mark Oliver in a medley of River Songs, including such favorites as "Up the Lazy River," "Moon River," and "Old Man River." Jones and saxophonist Paul Keranen will play a jazz set with "Cry Me a River," "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "Soul Eyes." Also in the jazz style will be torch singer Karin B. Schlenker singing "Stormy Weather."
Torch singer Karin Schlenker performs at the 2010 Omega House Benefit Recital at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock. This year Schlenker will sing "Stormy Weather." (Keweenaw Now 2010 file photo)
Also new this year is a segment of audience sing-along songs led by David Owens: "Harbour Lights," "Keweenaw Light," and the series theme song, "Summertime," with a new alternative text.
Folk music reigns supreme this year with three songs in French, three in German, one each in Swedish and Spanish. Translations of the texts are in the printed program so people can follow along. Even the classical songs are, for the most part, settings of folk tunes including a section of haunting chanties and other songs by British composers.
Returning vocalists are basses Jeff Massey and Barry Pegg; Ann and Greg Campbell; Sopranos Patricia Helsel, Katie Zutter; mezzo-soprano Ruth Robertson and tenors Bill Francis and Robert Suits of Houghton and Jacob Laitenen from Marquette .
New vocalists this year are contralto Barbara Lide singing a rollicking Swedish waltz, tenors Nathan Held and Nick Bohmann, and soprano Courtney Clisch.
Also new this year will be David Bezotte’s group, the Maple Sugar Folk, singing French water songs: "Partons, la mer est belle!" -- an Acadian folk tune; "Santa Maria de la mer" by Christian Bruhn; and "Youpe, Youpe! sur la rivière." Maple Sugar Folk singers include Amanda Binoniemi, Evan Dixon, Marcia Goodrich, Barbara Lide, Ralph Horvath, Barry Pegg, Ruth Robertson, Karin B. Schlenker and Jan Wieber.
Maple Sugar Folk perform French songs during a 2009 performance at the Calumet Heritage Center at St. Anne's. This year they will sing French water songs during the July 26 Omega House Benefit Recital at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock. (Keweenaw Now 2009 file photo)
Accompanists include Susan Byykkonen, principal piano accompanist; Susan Rokicki, piano accompanist; Ruth Robertson, piano and guitar accompanist; and David Owens, sing-along leader.
A donation of $5 or more is suggested. All proceeds will benefit Omega House, the Keweenaw's only hospice care facility.
For more information call Ruth Robertson, recital coordinator, at 573-761-1433 or Omega House at 906-482-4438.
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (ELCA) is at 1000 W. Quincy St. in Hancock.