In 2018, the musical world celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, but the Wilton Singers will do it with a twist. They’ve scheduled two concerts to perform songs from musicians who’ve been inspired and admired by America’s greatest native-born conductor/composer as well as songs written by Bernstein himself. Their tribute concerts, “Bernstein & Beyond: A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein – #100Years” will be performed Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12.

Musical director Kevin Cotellese is thrilled with the prospect of celebrating Bernstein’s centennial this way.

“The challenge was to find a way to incorporate the myriad of musical accomplishments of Bernstein’s life and share that story with the audience. So, in addition to performing works from West Side Story and Candide, the Wilton Singers will also perform selections by American composers like Aaron Copeland, along with rock n’ roll artists like The Beatles. This programming reflects the variety of music that Bernstein enjoyed in his life. He was a conductor and teacher at Tanglewood, taught children through the Young People’s Concerts series, championed American music, and was not ashamed to admit his love of modern popular music,” Cotellese says. “We’ll not only celebrates the life of Leonard Bernstein, but we’ll also provide our audience with the varied programming they look forward to when attending a Wilton Singers performance.”

Reservations are available online and seats are $35 per person. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 8 p.m.. The Concerts take place at the WEPCO Complex, 48 New Canaan Rd.. Guests are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner (and BYOB) to enjoy before the show. Visit the Wilton Singers website for details and to reserve seats.

Wilton Singers, now in its 35th year, was founded to provide an outlet for adult participation in small ensemble singing, to support the Wilton High School choral program, and to foster an interest in choral singing within the community. Proceeds from their concerts support two scholarships presented each spring to graduating Wilton High School seniors who have demonstrated musical leadership within the choral program at Wilton High School.