The program featured songs both serious and funny. Classics like “Shenandoah” and “Oklahoma” were interspersed with efforts such as Eleanor Murray’s “Blues in the Night” and fun songs like Ernie Macintyre’s and Jim Rankin’s “Country Roads,” performed on guitar and banjo.
The Singers performed 19 tunes whose subjects spanned the continent, beginning the tour with “New York, New York” and rolling to a stop on our golden shores with “San Francisco Open Your Golden Gate,” from the 1936 movie “San Francisco.” “This Land Is Your Land” followed and the encore “America The Beautiful” wrapped up the show. The complete chorus sung 11 tunes while nine were performed solo or in groups.
According to retired Livermore Lab employee Norma Scarlett, the show was “very entertaining – what a marvelous production.”
Los Medanos vocal instructor Nancy Bachman holds vocal training classes that recently included 16 Summerset Singers. Her professional assessment of the concert: “The group was just great. What a treat to see and hear this show.”
Singers Ben Smith, Cathy Ashland, Mike Spellman, Janice Richardson and Don Palmer all performed solo parts, while Tom Aumock, Sharon Beck, Cheryl McNish, and Stan and Linda Stanley sang “Kansas City.” Marge Fisk, Marilyn Miguel, Mary Ann Smith and Charlotte Werner performed “Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe.” Lastly, Trisha Brittain, Ann Calahan-DePalma, Ken Young and this writer belted out the Mamas and Papas tune “California Dreamin’.”
Concert attendees were awed by the extensive show decorations designed by Martha Steele Spellman that included a bus ticket venue, all kinds of Route 66 memorabilia, photos, maps and even an old gas pump. Ed Burke was set carpenter. Michael Ann Honea did ticket sales, Charlotte Werner acted as chorus librarian, Marilyn Miguel headed up choreography and Marge Fisk applied chorus makeup.
Chorus leadership includes musical director Ken Young; assistant directors Ann Callahan and Ernie Macintyre; accompanist Catherine Thompson and assistant accompanist Louis Jensen. Margaret Hoover acted as stage manager and the show’s producer was Linda Stanley. Others involved included Mike Spellman and Nancy Briggs as voiceover narrators, this writer did emcee honors, Darrell Fiske took care of sound, Tony Miguel worked lighting, and technical was accomplished by Ken Young and Norm Soucy. The show was video recorded and professionally photographed.