Jazz, Swing and a Rollicking Good Time at PC
SAVE THE DATES: Presbyterian College Students to Present “Songs of the Jazz Age”
By Emily Cowart ’20
Special to The Chronicle
The Presbyterian College Opera and Musical Theatre will present the original production “Songs of the Jazz Age.” Two performances are scheduled for Friday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 25, at 3 p.m., in Edmunds Hall on the PC campus.
“Songs of the Jazz Age” strings together songs from 1920’s and 1930’s composers like Cole Porter, Noel Coward, George and Ira Gershwin into a “revue” style.
The production creates a 1920’s party with characters that range from flappers, gangsters, and high-society types to a movie star.
Dr. Christian Elser, associate professor of music, directs the production and came up with the idea and setting. The students create the characters’ back stories, attitudes and motivations, and even have input in costume design.
“Expect to hear a lot of music that you didn’t even know that you were familiar with, along with many more truly amazing songs that make up what we now call the Great American Songbook,” Elser said. “It has singing, dancing, and a swingin’ live band. It’s fun for the whole family.”
This production consists of 29 back-to-back songs sung by an array of jazz characters in the setting of a speakeasy during the prohibition era. There are many storylines in the show, from the relationship between the chic movie star and her playboy fiancé, to the Chicago gangster’s free-wheeling, card-playing exploits.
"I get to play a girlfriend-of-a-gangster attendee to a party with a whole host of characters,” student and performer Haley Pye said. “Movie stars, flappers, gangsters, and jazzers are all accounted for. This group is brought together by a host with some interesting friends. As the night progresses, there will be heartbreak, drama, comedy, and more all played out through songs of the Jazz Age, dancing included. All in all, it's a show that keeps you engaged by jumping from one thing to another at a breakneck pace, with a live band playing some great hits!"
The event will feature a live band of four professional artists (Zac Bolton, Hailey Hunter, Sam Kreier, and Tom Dolamore) playing the music of Cole Porter, Noel Coward, George and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart and more.
Senior admission for the concert is $5, and general admission is $10. The event is free for PC students who bring their Student ID. Swing by to hear the improvisational music of the Golden Ages.