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Side Street Strutters ~ Swingin’ & Singin’
Friday, September 16, 2022 ~ 7:30 p.m.
In 1983, a group of talented musicians attending Arizona State University formed a musical ensemble whose artistic focus centered around the musical traditions of early New Orleans jazz. Now, four decades later, the Side Street Strutters continue to expand their musical palette to encompass nearly a century of classic American jazz. Portsmouth Community Concerts welcomes them back on the Churchland stage since their well-received performance of Vinyl Jazz: A Century Celebration in 2018.
The Strutters have presented formal concerts, symphony pops performances and student outreach programs in 50 states, as well as in seven European countries, Canada and Mexico. Their superb musicianship and award-winning orchestrations have earned them national and international acclaim, including a guest presidential performance. To date, they have 13 CD recordings. All this in addition to having entertained guests at the Disneyland Resort for 22 years, as well as participating in many Red Carpet movie premieres for the Walt Disney Company.
The ensemble has shared the stage with major orchestras including Houston, Rochester, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Pasadena and San Antonio. In celebration of their 25th anniversary, the Strutters revisited the roots of jazz with Back to Bourbon Street, a colorful show embracing the spirit and festiveness of New Orleans. In 2013, they unveiled Shiny Stockings, featuring for the first time the vocal stylings of Meloney Collins, combining her sassy yet sultry personality and soulful voice with the Strutters’ exciting musical arrangements, personable humor and showmanship. Together, they create a
musical theater experience capturing the essential charm and vibrant energy of the golden age of jazz.
In celebration of their 40th anniversary, the Side Street Strutters are proud to introduce Swingin’ & Singin’ with their most popular melodies and most
powerful musical arrangements. They also have added some new musical offerings that capture the essential charm and vibrant energy of jazz.
Friday, December 9, 2022 ~ 7:30 p.m.
Formed in the fall of 1996, the Virginia Handbell Consort became the first community handbell ensemble in the Hampton Roads area. Their auditioned musicians perform on handbells, hand chimes, and a variety of other percussion instruments. Under the direction of Al Reese, the Virginia Handbell Consort displays a stunning demonstration in the art of English handbell ringing, an art that is beautiful to hear as well as fascinating to watch. Their concert repertoire is a mix of sacred, classic, contemporary, show tunes, and big band swing
designed to showcase their unique instrument. Part of their mission is to demonstrate to
Virginia Handbell Consort ~ Holiday Concert
audiences that while handbells are a part of the holiday season’s traditions, they are not limited to holiday performances. They are a year-round source of entertainment. Some notable performances include Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Handbell Musicians of America’s 50th Anniversary Showcase Concert, Ferguson Center’s Home for the Holidays, Fort Monroe Holiday Concert with the U.S. Army TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command), Williamsburg’s First Night, and with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
Friday, February 3, 2023 ~ 7:30 PM
Winners of the 2019 American Prize in Chamber Music, Seraph Brass is a dynamic ensemble drawing from a roster of America’s top female brass players. Their debut album, Asteria, was released on Summit Records, winning a Silver Medal Global Music Award. Seraph Brass is in residency at the Walton Arts Center’s Artosphere Festival, alongside the Dover Quartet, in the festival orchestra.
The group has toured throughout the country, as well as in Mexico, China and Europe, and has performed multiple concerts at the Lieksa Brass Week in Finland. They have been the featured ensemble at the International Women’s Brass Conference and the International Trumpet Guild Conference. Other performance highlights include the Forum Cultural Guanajuato in León, Mexico,
Dame Myra Hess Concerts in Chicago, Gettysburg Concert Association in Pennsylvania, and the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida. They have toured extensively as Allied Concert Services artists. Many members of Seraph Brass performed with Adele on her 2016 North American tour.
Seraph Brass has commissioned works featured on Asteria by Catherine McMichael and Rene Orth. As featured soloists, they have performed Rick DeJonge’s Prelude and Fantasy with the Rowan University Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Joseph Higgins, nd James Stephenson’s Dodecafecta
with the Bucknell University Wind Ensemble, under the direction of William Kenny.
Seraph Brass ~ Chamber Music Ensemble
Divas3 ~ Honoring the Iconic Hits
Friday, March 24, 2023 ~ 7:30 PM
A celebration of the biggest hits by the greatest Divas of the last four decades in pop music history sets the scene on stage featuring three female singers with powerhouse voices. Divas3 performs some of the greatest chart-toppers of the 1960s through the 1990s including tunes by Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Cher, Dolly Parton, Donna Summer, ABBA, and many more. Individual members of Divas3 are best known for their starring roles in shows on the Las Vegas Strip and from TV’s American Idol (semi-finalist). As a group, Divas3 has headlined resorts and casinos throughout their hometown of Las Vegas, as well as performing arts centers across the country and luxury cruise ships worldwide. An enticing mix of pure class, personality, and what some describe as “goose bump-inducing vocals,” Divas3 achieves the balance of honoring the iconic hits of the great pop divas without impersonation but with exceptional vocal arrangements.
Chester Gregory ~ Tribute to Jackie Wilson & Friends
Friday, April 28, 2023 ~ 7:30 PM
Chester Gregory was last seen portraying Berry Gordy in Broadway’s Motown the Musical, a role he held for two years and received critical acclaim. Among his Broadway credits are Hairspray, Tarzan, Cry-Baby, and Sister Act. He has toured nationally with Dreamgirls, Sister Act, and his one-man show, The Eve of Jackie. Mr. Gregory has received numerous awards, including the Jeff Award and an NAACP Theatre Award. He had the opportunity to sing for the legendary “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, who gave him a standing ovation for his performance. Gregory was presented with the Key to the City of his hometown of Gary, Indiana and in East Chicago. He has been chosen as an Honorary State Representative of Indiana and has received an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater, Columbia College in Chicago.