March 1, 2013
The Texas Tenors – Marcus Collins, J.C. Fischer and John Hagen – brought their signature blend of country music and opera to Wichita, as they joined the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Daniel Hege in concert in the Century II Concert Hall on Thursday evening.
After a rousing overture of themes from “The Magnificent Seven,” the charismatic Texas Tenors took the stage. Beginning with “O Solo Mio,” the trio moved on to John Denver favorites. Their presentation was laced with good-natured banter, which the audience enjoyed.
The gospel segment that came next began with an adaptation of Londonderry Air, tenderly sung and played but over-amplified.
Much was made of tenor J.C. Fischer’s WSU heritage, and the audience welcomed him back enthusiastically.
During the concert, using video summarizing the Texas Tenors’ rise to popularity, testimony was given to the idea that hard work and gumption can pay off. Further, the Tenors have established themselves as eager to share their fortune, promoting charitable causes and encouraging the audience to get involved.
Following intermission, the Texas Tenors blended rock and Broadway elements into their performance. John Hagen is credited with doing all the arrangements for the group, and his work is excellent and imaginative. The tenors did a compelling job with Hagen’s arrangement of the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses.”
Programs of this nature can be extremely strenuous for the orchestra, and Wichita Symphony members distinguished themselves with a consistently high level of playing in every section.
The evening culminated with a richly sung and lushly played rendition of “My Way” sending the audience out into the night convinced that, surely, anything is possible.
David Baxter is a member of the music faculty at Newman University. He has performed in symphony orchestras and orchestra pits in many cities and enjoys participating in Wichita’s musical community.