The Wilton Singers is celebrating the organization’s 40th birthday in style!
This May, the Singers are taking a tour through their 40 years, performing audience favorites and hits from each decade. Fans can expect the unexpected, with the usual genre-hopping from contemporary to classical, from the 1980s through today.
Audiences will hear pop hits like “Stand By Me,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Somebody to Love,” and “I’m Still Standing,” plus choral familiar favorites from Mozart and other well-known and beloved composers such as John Rutter and Eric Whitacre.
The Singers will be accompanied by a trio of musicians, including pianist Lisa Bettke, a Wilton High School alumna and former Madrigal Singer who teaches General Music in the Fairfield school district. Bettke is also an accompanist and conductor with the Fairfield Children’s Choir.
This show is so big it has three producers: WHS alumni and second generation Wilton Singers Suzanne Thawley Jeschke and Alison Wood, and Cider Mill music educator Beth Bakst.
“We couldn’t be more excited to put together this program in honor of our 40th birthday. It’s truly a musical celebration of our past: equal parts reminiscence and excitement for the years of singing to come,” Bakst said.
The Wilton Singers were co-founded in 1983 by two Wilton couples, Ed and Jan MacEwen and Al and Jan Galletly.
The Wilton Singers is a 501c3 organization that was founded to provide an outlet for adult participation in small ensemble singing, to support the WHS choral program, and to foster an interest in choral singing within the community. Proceeds from the group’s concerts support two scholarships that are presented each spring to graduating WHS seniors who have demonstrated music leadership within the school’s choral program.
“The idea emerged between the MacEwens and us back in 1983 to create a small choral group that would allow us to continue to nurture our collective love of music and performing,” Al Galletly said. “The group’s first concert was held at the historic Hurlbutt Street SchoolHouse. What a joy and honor it has been to see the group grow, flourish and celebrate their 40th birthday!”
The MacEwens shared their sentiments: “We’ve come a long way from our first season in 1983-84. Being together for 40 years has allowed many of us to experience significant milestones in each other’s lives: marriages; new babies who have grown up, many actually joining the Singers at one time or another; and sadness too, with the untimely passing of several of our members. But among the things that have never changed are our love of singing together and our love and appreciation of our wonderfully supportive audience.”
The Singers has always fostered a “family” atmosphere, both within the group and with the audience.
“That’s one of the reasons food is such an important part of our concerts,” co-producer Wood said. “Sharing a meal fosters that feeling of family dinner, even if you’re sitting with people you’ve never met. It’s a really unique community experience.”
Audience members are encouraged to bring their own food and drink to enjoy with friends and family in a Cabaret-style atmosphere. And no birthday party would be complete without cake.
Tickets for the Wilton Singers’ birthday celebration go on sale Saturday, April 15 at 9 a.m. for $40 and can be purchased on the Wilton Singers website only. Doors open at 7:15 p.m and the concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6. Table seating is preassigned. Audience members can bring their own dinner and beverages to enjoy before the show … the cake is on the Singers!