Past, Present and Future: Taking the audience on a ride through history

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Maria O’Toole and Malcolm Cummings returned to the stage for their rendition of “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher, during the Plainville Choral Society’s performance of “Past, Present, and Future,” on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Middle School of Plainville.

For the past 50 years the Plainville Choral Society has been entertaining audiences, and this weekend was no exception. On Saturday, Feb. 28, the group brought about 200 hundred audience members on a journey through the history of PCS as they took the Middle School of Plainville stage for their show, “Past, Present, and Future.”

Members of the choral society described this show as a way to shore together the history of the group, the current status of the group, and the possible future of the community choir, all in one performance. This included songs and performances from former members of the group, such as Maria O’Toole and Malcolm Cumming’s rendition of “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher, which O’Toole first performed 15 years ago.

The show also marked the return of former director and accompanying pianist, Peter and Mary Jane Peluso, both of whom took the stage to showcase their musical talent with Peter playing Billy Joel’s “Root Beer Rag” on the accordion, and Mary Jane joining the group’s current pianist Kelly Sharp, for a four-handed rendition of a Mozart sonata.

“We are a family,” said Eileen Glancy, the group’s media specialist, whose son, Jeremy Stein—a former member of the Plainville Choral Society Youth Theater and a Plainville Choral Society scholarship recipient—returned to do all of the lighting and sound production for the show.

It may seem like an abstract concept to showcase the future of a musical group, but it was done seamlessly, as former members of the youth theater program returned to perform, such as Nico Fasold who performed Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major” on the piano.

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Younger members of the community also teamed up with veteran performers, such was the case for the duet performed by Foster White and Olivia Smailes, who sang “Together At Last,” from the hit musical Annie.

“This performance is really cool because it’s so heavily based on the history of the group,” said Greg Wilfrid, PCS’s musical director. “I’m still getting familiar with it so, it’s really cool for Debi and Sandy who produced the show to ask this person to come back who hasn’t been here for x amount of years, or even Lola’s performance of “She’s Got You,” is like, they mention that song and everyone starts laughing.”

Lola Wishart returned to the stage to perform her solo of “She’s Got You,” and it was almost difficult to hear her sing of a lost love above the sound of laughter echoing off the walls of the middle school auditorium.

And taking the stage for a performance that may have surprised the audience was Wilfrid himself, who has been performing with his Celtic folk band, The Jolly Beggars, for the better part of 11 years. The director performed two songs, a traditional folk song entitled “Lakes of Ponchartrain,” and an original song that he wrote entitled “Wife of the Landlord.”

Now that “Past, Present, and Future,” has wrapped, the group is preparing for their pasta dinner and theater performance to be held at the end of the month, where the singers will showcase their favorite Broadway tunes. In April, The Plaids and Nunsense will take the stage, and in May, the group will present their 50th anniversary show, “Golden Oldies,” where they will be singing hit songs from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

“We’re very excited and we just hope that the audience continues to enjoy what we do,” said Glancy. “We’re bringing music to the community; we’re bringing joy to the community, and that’s what we want to do.”

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at Entertainment@PlainvilleObserver.com.