By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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“It's a piece about the forest. . . . It's so descriptive of what we see there,” said Ehling, conductor of the Peninsula Singers.
He and his wife Lauretta call the forest “our worship place.”
So even if this weekend's concerts with the Peninsula Singers are billed as collections of secular songs, there will be a touch of grace.
So believe tenor Trent Pomeroy and mezzo-soprano Linda Grubb, two among the performers joining Ehling to celebrate the Peninsula Singers' 25th anniversary this weekend.
The second of two silver-anniversary concerts is 2 p.m. today (Sunday) at Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 S. Blake Ave. (The first concert was Saturday evening at Trinity.)
It will be a survey of the music Ehling and his singers revel in: Verdi arias, songs from Broadway, European folk songs, standards such as “Embraceable You.”
Tickets at the door are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and free for students and children 12 and younger.
The concert “will be high-spirited and joyful,” promised Grubb. Under Ehling, the Peninsula Singers “are a family, first off.”
Also on the program: music from the Johann Strauss opera “Die Fledermaus,” Ralph Vaughan Williams' “Just a Tide was Flowing,” “Memory” from “Cats,” “On My Own” and “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from “Les Miserables,” “Choose Something Like a Star” from “Frostiana” and Samuel Barber's “Sure on this Shining Night.”
Pomeroy will sing “Beautiful Dreamer,” Stephen Foster's nearly 150-year-old song. This version, Ehling said, has a freshness to it thanks to the modern arrangement and Pomeroy's voice.
The challenge here is “taking a group of community members who simply like to sing, and who hopefully have some experience before they get to us, and blending them,” added Ehling. “You can have all kinds of people singing together and not have an ensemble.”
His chorus members are fervent in their praise of the maestro: With a style that is both encouraging and exacting, Ehling makes music — and magic.
“Conductors have this sixth sense: They know every single thing that's going on,” said Pomeroy. “Dewey is a marvelous musician.”
This weekend's performances “are just a wonderful opportunity,” he added, “to hear good music that's done with a lot of love.”