Serendipity Pleases Large Crowd At St. Luke’s

Jamestown received a Valentine from the Serendipity women’s singing ensemble Sunday afternoon, when they performed a concert of music inspired by the holiday at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. The concert bore the title “Songs from the Heart.”

The entire 90-minute concert was made up of relatively short pieces of music – typically about three to five minutes each – chosen very astutely to provide variety and interest for the audience, and to spotlight the many, varied talents of the eight singers, any of whom might be considered a soloist.

Unusual, from my experience with the group, they were joined for three of their numbers by a talented ensemble of seven men, which made possible an even different sound. The concert was offered, free of admission charges, but a free-will offering was taken for the benefit of Love, Inc.

The selections in the program began with a work from 16th century Flemish composer Jacques Arcadelt, and ranged from there to contemporary compositions, popular standards from Broadway and films, folk songs, and even choices by Billy Joel, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and The Beach Boys.

Many of the songs were accompanied on piano by Lance Flower, who also was one of the male singers and who provided a pre-concert performance and an intermission solo which helped to energize the performance, and both of which were enthusiastically applauded by the audience.

The members of Serendipity are Melanie Gritters, Gail Grundstrom, Leslie Hallock, Laura Flower Hotchkiss, Susan Huther, Cyndi Lorenc, Lissa Vandewark and Carolyn Whitehead. Huther is the director of the ensemble.

The men joining in on this concert were Earl Badger, Brian Bogey, Joe Braeger, Chuck Brininger, Lance Flower, Lyndon Gritters and Steve Woods.

The fact that both men and women were elaborately dressed, with the women in gowns which mixed the colors red and black, and most of which involved a considerable amount of sparkle, while the men wore black tuxedos, brought a romanticism and an elegance to the afternoon, which served as the perfect setting for the well-chosen program of music.

The nearly filled church rang with the enthusiastic applause of the audience and even though the singers offered an encore, the audience was still standing and applauding when the singers had left the room.