The University Choir and Orchestra (UCO), directed by John Sutton, DMA, appeared with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra (LBSO) POPS! on February 25 at the Long Beach Arena. The group performed music from Alan Lerner and Frederick Loewe, including songs from the musicals My Fair Lady, Camelot, and Gigi. LBSO, conducted by Steven Reineke, involves some of Hollywood’s most sought-after musicians. The evening also featured guest solo artists Susan Egan, the original Belle in the Broadway production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and well-known concert soloists Chad Johnson and Christopher Johnstone.
“Performing with such a significant orchestra as the LBSO provides great visibility for UCO and the university as a whole,” said Sutton. “This venue gave us the opportunity to reach an audience of music lovers and deepen our understanding about how to minister to a secular audience through songs about life. It also gave students the unique chance to perform at a professional venue with Broadway stars.”
The following day, APU’s 100-voice Men’s Chorale, under the direction of Harold Clousing, performed at the Celebration of Freedom Gala, honoring 35 Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. The ensemble sang America the Beautiful, God Bless America, and Bring Him Home for approximately 750 guests, including Medal of Honor recipients, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, retired United States Navy Admiral Michael Mullen, and actors Gary Sinise and Jon Voight.
“Being the premier group at such an esteemed event was a distinct honor,” said Clousing. “Our involvement not only brought recognition to the university, but also enabled our students to serve as ambassadors, introducing Men’s Chorale to the important guests in attendance while also showcasing their musical talent.”