Springs native, Jonathan William Gorst, is returning to his roots for the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale’s 40th Anniversary production titled ‘40 Years on Broadway’ of the at the Pikes Peak Center Sunday, June 4 at 3:00 p.m.
“It’s a real joy to follow the professional careers of our past students,” says Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, executive director, Marcia Hendricks. “And those who return to share their experiences with current students are a tremendous encouragement.”
“Being part of the chorale gave me the courage to strive for my dreams,” reflects Gorst. “And the inner confidence to keep trying.”
That striving paid off for Gorst’s as his music career evolved from local endeavors into becoming a powerhouse on Broadway’s national tour scene as music director/principle conductor for The Phantom of the Opera.
Gorst first joined the CS Children’s Chorale at age seven and continued singing with the organization until he was twelve years old. At fourteen, Gorst became the assistant choir director at the Wilson United Methodist Church and served in that capacity from 1987-1997. The WUMC was founded in the chapel at the Flying W Ranch and moved to its current location in Mountain Shadows in 1989.
At the age of sixteen he began his professional career as a pianist at the Imperial Hotel in Cripple Creek, Colorado.
After graduating from Doherty High School in 1990, he attended the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, and graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance.
“During finals week, as I was preparing to graduate from college, I received a call asking me to be the keyboard player for the Broadway national tour of Cats,” Gorst recalls. “How could I say no to that?” Later he became the music director/conductor for the Cats tour.
“Standing on the podium at the Pikes Peak Center to conduct ‘Cats’ was the highlight of my professional career,” shares Gorst. “The first time I set foot on that Pikes Peak Center stage was as a member of the Children's Chorale as a singer. Later, I was an accompanist. Now I return as a guest and, hopefully, an inspiration to the next generation.”
When Gorst became music director/principle conductor for the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera in 2007, he finished the last 4 years of the longest running national tour of a Broadway show in history. He continued to play and conduct that show in Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular at the Venetian Hotel and Casino, holding the position of assistant conductor/keyboard II player until the production closed in 2012.
Making his way back to Colorado, Gorst has recently taken on the position of music director at the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue in Glenwood Springs, CO, where he draws on his knowledge of musical theater, ragtime piano, and classical music to entertain audiences with sing-a-longs, musical comedy, and virtuosic performance.
“It’s not a stretch to say the Children's Chorale gave me the basis for a successful career in music,” claims Gorst. “As a musician, I learned the fundamentals of my art form there. As a person, I learned to reach deep within myself to succeed and dream of higher goals after each accomplishment.”
As a returning guest artist for the 40th Anniversary celebration, Gorst will be playing piano with Bob Crowder and Judy Wish (who were mentors of his during his chorale years), and the various choirs in a concert which spans the 40 years of the Children's Chorale and the past 40 years of Broadway.
“I will be conducting, rehearsing, arranging music and speaking throughout the week leading up to this historic performance,” he shares.
Jonathan Gorst at the Pikes Peak Center
When asked if he would recommend the CS Children’s Chorale to parents looking for a vocal program for their children, he responds with enthusiasm, “Absolutely and without question!”
“This performance on June 4th at 3:00 pm at the Pikes Peak Center is really a "can't-miss" event for our community,” claims Gorst. “Get your tickets early as it will certainly sell out before the date of the concert.”
Tickets can be purchased the following ways: by calling 888-929-7849; at pikespeakcenter.com; or AXS.com
Who: The choirs of the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, with Jonathon Gorst,
celebrate 40 years in Colorado Springs at the Pikes Peak Center with their tribute to Broadway musicals and serving the community through song.
What: 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale
When: Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 3pm
Where: Pikes Peak Center 190 South Cascade Avenue in downtown Colorado Springs
Tickets: Start at $12 and are available by calling 888-929-7849; at pikespeakcenter.com; or AXS.com