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Elton John, Bach, Metallica, & Bonnie Raitt - Oh My!

Issue #2 | May 21, 2020 What was your first concert? And do you still like that artist today? Mark McKelvey (Tenor 2): Elton John at Dodger Stadium. And of course, I still like Elton John!…

Issue #2 | May 21, 2020

What was your first concert? And do you still like that artist today?

Mark McKelvey (Tenor 2): Elton John at Dodger Stadium. And of course, I still like Elton John!

Hal Laster (General Manager): I can’t remember my first concert, but one concert that had a major impact comes to mind. It took place years ago–and I do mean years, as in the early 50s–while I was in elementary school. Our town participated in a program called Community Artists Concert Association which would bring young and emerging artists to small town America for concerts. I loved going to the performances. And I was very enthralled with the piano duo, Ferrante and Teicher.  

Rebecca Vardhan (Alto 1)New Kids on the Block at the Oakland Coliseum, for my friend’s birthday in 5th grade; we took a limo there and back. Quite memorable!

Fess up, Rebecca! Do you still listen to New Kids on the Block?

Rebecca: I don’t put it on often, but I definitely stop and listen if I come across it!  

Lori Abrahams (Alto 1): My first concert [I will publicly admit to] was Jackson Browne with Bonnie Raitt, at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. I think it was 1976-ish. And I saw him again two years ago at the San Jose Civic Center, and he’s still got it.  

C’mon. What was your REAL first concert, Lori??

Lori: [Grumbles.] Okay. It was the Osmond Brothers at the Cow Palace in Daly City, circa 1971. They wore white fringe outfits and all! I was in the 10th row, front and center, wearing purple. Yes, it’s true. And I think Merrill Osmond is one of the most underrated band front men of all time.  

Would you rather listen to a Bach motet scored for electric guitars, or Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” scored for chamber choir?

Mark: I would like to hear both before I decide.  

Hal: Honestly, neither.   Rebecca: I think “Enter Sandman” would be so fun and funky!  

Lori: I’m not a huge fan of Metallica, so for that reason, I choose Bach and electric guitars.  

What is the first cultural arts event or concert you want to attend once we’re able to safely be in public?

Mark: The Choral Project’s next event, of course. After that, I’m crazy for the radio program “Live from Here,” and would attend the first concert by any of their rotating company of artists, especially I’m With Her, The Milk Carton Kids, or Mandolin Orange. Such beautiful harmonies!  

Hal: It would be wonderful to attend a performance by the San José Chamber Orchestra.  

Rebecca: To perform with The Choral Project again.  

Lori: I am looking forward to sitting in the audience of live theater again. Small like the Tabard in San Jose, and big time like the A.C.T. in San Francisco. I miss that. A lot.

As a companion piece to this issue, we created a YouTube playlist you can enjoy by clicking here.

Do you have questions you would like to ask our members? Email them to marketing@sjcp.org.


Photos were taken by The Choral Project Board Member, Nada Marriott, who observed all rules of social distancing using a long-distance camera lens. All photos © 2020 Nada Marriott.