Raines performs pieces by Clara Schumann, Copland, Cyndi Lauper on Friday
Soprano Sarah Raines on Friday raises her voice for female composers and performers using the power of music. The free recital is at Heritage Hall in Great Falls and starts at 7 p.m.
Raines, accompanied by Lindsey Nussbaum, will perform the 12 poems of Emily Dickinson composed by Aaron Copland, three pieces by Clara Schumann and a set of musical theater songs from Jeanine Tesori and Cyndi Lauper.
Guest vocalists Kaitlyn Taylor and Karrie Pepos will sing as well, while Garrett Swanson will be on percussion.
Raines said Great Falls College Community Choir director Cindy Stevens asked Raines last July about possibly doing a solo recital and she’s been working to round out the pieces to perform since then.
“Cindy asked if I’d be interested in doing a show for Women’s History Month in March,” she said. “I thought that was a great idea, and even though this is now April, the spirit of the show, and what it represents, is just as relevant.”
Raines said she’s looking forward to playing a solo show at Heritage Hall, also, a place where she’s performed with fellow singers in the community choir but never just herself.
“Heritage Hall is a good size for a recital as it has a certain amount of intimacy as opposed to a concert hall that can be a little too big for what we want to do with this,” she said.
Raines grew up singing and playing the piano in her small Texas hometown of Buda until she moved to New York City to get her degree in classical voice from New York University.
Now living in Great Falls, she continues to sing first soprano and as a featured soloist in the Great Falls Symphonic Choir and the MSUGFC Community Choir.
Raines also pours her passion for music into teaching as the choir director at the University of Great Falls. Though classically-trained, she loves music theatre and has recently been seen as the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, Hope Harcourt in Anything Goes, and Sister Berthe in The Sound of Music.
A year ago, she helped start the Electric City Cabaret, a comedic musical group that performs in and around Cascade County. Last spring, she had her directorial debut with UGF’s production of South Pacific.
This summer, she plans on performing at several locations across the state with fellow soprano Meghan Wakeley.
Raines said before then, she looks at Friday’s show as an opportunity to perform pieces that are both beloved and known to be a challenge to perform well.
“I had wanted to do these songs when I was in college but never got the chance to do all of them,” she said. “(These pieces) are very different, which makes it fun, too. There’s a lot of dissonant and atonal sections specifically in the Copeland set with some unique parts for people to listen for that at the same time has melodies that are familiar to the ears as classical.”
Raines said she chose to perform a piece by Clara Schumann because while she’s not as well-known of composer as her husband Robert, Raines said she was just as talented. Raines will be singing in German, as well, during these pieces.
“When people hear ‘Schumann,’ they immediately think Robert, but Clara was just as accomplished, even if she wasn’t as famous, which was probably because she was a woman, which at the time was a very uncommon thing to see women writing pieces like she did,” Raines said.
Raines added that the Copeland pieces each have distinct sounds and include bits that attempt to personify nature.
“The Copland piece is so unique,” she said. “Especially considering how he makes it a point to show how the piano can imitate nature.”
When the guest vocalists join Raines, she said the pieces will have more of a ballad type feel to them.
“The trio has an almost Disney type feel to it,” she said. “I can’t wait to perform with Kaitlyn and Karrie. They’re both very talented in their own right.”
Taylor is a senior at Great Falls High School and sings in both the Delphian choir as well as Rhapsody in Blue. She will be attending San Diego State University next fall, majoring in musical theater. She recently took first place at The Great Falls Music Teacher’s Convention, and she plans to continue entering classical competitions.
Pepos also is a student at Great Falls High and sings in the Delphian choir. Her recent accomplishments include being selected for the All-Northwest Choir.
Finally Swanson is a freshman at the University of Great Falls, majoring in English. He was born and raised in Southern California, in the Santa Clarita Valley.
When beginning high school at Chaminade College Preparatory, Garrett joined the Eagle Regiment marching band and concert band, and rapidly developed a passion for percussion instruments.
He had a successful high school music career, which included in performances in parades such as the Hollywood Christmas Parade in 2013, a percussion ensemble performance on Broadway in 2012, and numerous first place winnings in the WBA and ADLA marching circuits.
For more information on Friday’s recital, visit the event’s Facebook page here.
Thank you to Darron Raines for letting us continue to use his wonderful photos he takes of people active in the area’s artistic community.