Members of the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra will take listeners on a musical journey to a place many fans would like to visit: Downton Abbey.
Accompanied by narrators and plenty of special guests, the SCSO will present “The Music of Downton Abbey” at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 18, at the Sacramento Community Center. Tickets are $38 to $58, available from the center’s box office.
“We’re sticking our necks out, but we’re glad to be trying this,” said Jim McCormick, SCSO’s president. “This isn’t just a concert, but a heck of a party.”
Music director Donald Kendrick will be joined on stage by narrators Alison Gilbreath and Elizabeth Anne Springett plus soloists Carrie Hennessey and Kevin Doherty and other guests (including a golden Labrador retriever). It’s a musical tribute to the beloved British TV show as well as to its historical period.
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“With the mystique attached to ‘Downton Abbey,’ we thought it would it would be exciting to incorporate some of (its) music written by Emmy-award winning composer John Lunn along with choral orchestral gems of the era that the Crawley family would surely have enjoyed,” Kendrick said. “(This is) music depicting events outlining life as they knew it in post-Edwardian England.”
In addition to Scottish composer Lunn’s seven-minute “Downton Abbey” theme, the program features choral music by Sir Hubert Parry, Gustav Holst, Sir Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams and other early 20th-century composers.
“That period is really when choral music was at its peak,” McCormick said.
Patrons are encouraged to dress in post-Edwardian period or 1920s attire, he added. They can pose with life-size cut-outs of characters from “Downtown Abbey,” such as the dowager countess or Lady Mary. For refreshments, English tea will be served.
“The Brits totally understand pomp and circumstance,” McCormick said. “People will not only enjoy some great music, but they’ll learn a lot of history, too.”
Music of Downton Abbey
Where: Sacramento Community Center, 1301 L St., Sacramento
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 18