Want to Hear Some Fun Show Tunes? Attend Crescendo’s Spring Fling May 8. It’s Free!

Celebrate the return of the sun and warmer days ahead with Crescendo’s “Spring Fling” concert on Monday, May 8. The music starts at 7 p.m. at Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church, 11042 Sunrise Drive NE. Admission is free—but the chorus will happily accept donations!

Crescendo 4 image by Kevin DwyerCrescendo sings an eclectic mix of songs, ranging from Broadway to pop, rock, standards and more. Wendi Olinger directs this adult ensemble with Chris Smellow as accompanist.
Concert selections will include “And All That Jazz” from “Chicago”; ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”; the theme song from “FAME”; a 1940s song Bette Midler later made famous, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”; the classic “Mr. Sandman”; a medley of showstopping Disney favorites; “You Will Be Found” from the Broadway smash “Dear Evan Hansen” and more.
“Crescendo started in 2012 with a dozen or so singers and has grown to more than 30,” says Connie Bye, a soprano with the group. “Some of our singers are seasoned musicians, others learn by listening. But we all love to sing together and to share the joy of music with our audience.”

The current chorus is made up with about 30 regulars participating in its winter/spring program, with members divided up into alto, bass, soprano and tenner parts.

“The experience level is very wide,” explains Olinger, who is a trained opera singer and has a Masters Degree in music education and a Bachelor’s in vocal performance. “Some people have sung all their lives, while others are just starting out.”

The 45-year-old Olinger took over the reins of Crescendo in 2018 after moving to the island from Texas with her husband and a pair of pre-teens. She taught music at an elementary school in the Lone Star State and prior to that at the prestigious Norwich Free Academy in Connecticut. “It keeps me doing music at a high level,” she says of managing Crescendo. “I enjoy it. It helps that I was a teacher.”

Olinger works closely with Connie and Dale Bye, and other experienced Crescendo members, to select songs that the group will perform for either the fall term or the winter/spring session.

Crescendo 2 image by Kevin Dwyer“We look at songs we performed before,” says Connie Bye, “then Wendi looks it over and selects three or four songs she likes. Then, people in the group make suggestions (based on a list of potential songs) and they vote on them.”

Typically, eight to 10 songs are chosen, and the group practices those for about 12 weeks before holding a free concert – usually staged at Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church. Depending on the time of year, Crescendo also performs in smaller venues,  such as Starbucks, Safeway, the Bargain Boutique, Bloedel Reserve, and any number of area nursing homes. Last holiday season, they chorused at the Tree-lighting ceremony in Downtown Winslow.  “We’ll sing anywhere,” says Dale Bye with a laugh.

Crescendo Ovation's Adult Choir logoClick here to watch Crescendo

Crescendo is part of Ovation! Performing Arts Northwest, a Bainbridge Island-based nonprofit entertainment group. For more information, go to www.ovationmtb.com.
Ovation Performing Arts Northwest logo

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