WESTERLY — Though Kent Hall might be silent these days, the sounds of The Chorus of Westerly will return in motion picture form on Sunday, Aug. 30, at 8 p.m., when "Mostly Music: The Journey of the Chorus of Westerly" premieres at the Misquamicut Drive-In.
A one-hour documentary film originally commissioned by the chorus six years ago, "Mostly Music: The Journey of the Chorus of Westerly" is an in-depth retrospective of the history and programs of the chorus. An earlier preview version of the film received a Finalist nomination in the Short Films category at the New York Film & TV Festival.
Directed and created by chorus alumnus Caswell Cooke Jr., the documentary was produced and edited by Westerly resident Chris Walsh of Chris Walsh Productions. Chorus Founding Music Director George Kent, current Music Director Andrew Howell and Executive Director Ryan Saunders serve as the film's guides, while nearly a dozen other chorus singers past and present share their stories of the organization.
While the visuals throughout the documentary are a major component, it is the soundtrack that stands out, Saunders said in a statement.
"The film is filled with special musical highlights taken directly from concerts and rehearsals from across the Chorus of Westerly's six decades, conducted by both Mr. Kent and Mr. Howell," he said.
The film was mostly recorded in the chorus' George Kent Performance Hall on High Street in Westerly, while other scenes include segments at Camp Ogontz in Lyman, New Hampshire, and moments from some of the chorus' five international tours.
Production for the film was a major financial challenge for the chorus, Saunders added, from finding funding to attaining rights and licenses to use the music in the film.
Nearly 100 members of the chorus community made contributions, which allowed for the film to "both come into existence and, at long last, cross the finish line," Saunders said.
Tickets for the Aug. 30 drive-in premiere are free and available to the public online starting Saturday at 10 a.m. Those interested in attending should go to either chorusofwesterly.org or to the Chorus of Westerly or Misquamicut Business Association's Facebook pages to find links to reserve any available tickets. Tickets are available online only and are limited in number. Only one ticket per car is required. There will be no phone, email or walk-up reservations.
The Misquamicut Drive-In will open at 6:30 p.m. the night of the show. Cars will be positioned on a first-come, first-served basis in the lots. Social distancing and masking protocols will be in effect for the entire event. The feature will be shown beginning at 8 p.m.
An online virtual premiere will be held on YouTube on Sunday, Oct. 4, for free.
For more information, visit chorusofwesterly.org.