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Three Mo' Tenors

Music experts say more people are becoming interested in classical music because it is being presented in new ways by new groups. A group of singers called Three Mo' Tenors is such a group. I'm Mary Tillotson. And I'm Steve Ember. The music of Three Mo' Tenors is our report today on the VOA Special English program, THIS IS AMERICA.

((MUSIC BRIDGE FROM THREE MO' TENORS))

Three Mo' Tenors present concerts that celebrate many kinds of music. Their first concert was presented in New York City in the summer of Two-Thousand. Since then, they have performed in many cities in the United States. Their concert also has been broadcast on television.

A tenor is the highest natural adult male singing voice. Three African-American singers perform as Three Mo' Tenors. They are Victor Trent Cook, Rodrick Dixon and Thomas Young. They sing seven different kinds of music -- opera, songs from Broadway shows, jazz, blues, soul, spiritual and gospel. Listen as they sing "La Donna e Mobile" from Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Rigoletto."

((CUT ONE – "LA DONNA E MOBILE"))

You may think they sound like any other group of tenors trained to sing classical music. Listen again as the same performers celebrate the sounds of Broadway. This song is from the Broadway musical show "Five Guys Named Moe." It is called "Let the Good Times Roll."

((CUT 2 – "LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL"))

Broadway director Marion Caffey is creator and director of Three Mo' Tenors. He says he got the idea for the Three Mo' Tenors concert while listening to the successful concert of the Three Tenors. It was performed by three world-famous opera singers, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.

Mr. Caffey says he wants Three Mo' Tenors to show that African-American singers are skilled performers of classical music. Mr. Caffey says there has been a lack of African-American tenors singing opera or classical music in concert. He includes this message in the Three Mo' Tenors concert. Rodrick Dixon sings "Make Them Hear You" from the Broadway musical "Ragtime."

((CUT 3 – "MAKE THEM HEAR YOU"))

The Three Mo' Tenors are trained in classical as well as other kinds of music. Victor Trent Cook received a Tony Award nomination in Nineteen-Ninety-Five for his performance in the Broadway musical "Smokey Joe's Café." He has also performed in other Broadway shows.

Rodrick Dixon has sung in concerts in the United States, France and Italy. He has appeared on Broadway in the musical "Ragtime."Thomas Young has performed in major concert halls and opera houses in twenty countries. He has also performed in theater and as a jazz singer.

Listen to more music from the Three Mo' Tenors concert. The tenors sing a collection of songs written or made popular by Duke Ellington. Here they sing "You Gotta Be a Rug Cutter and It Don't Mean a Thing."

((CUT 4 - "YOU GOTTA BE A RUG CUTTER/IT DON'T MEAN A THING"))

Soul music became popular in the United States during the Nineteen-Sixties and Nineteen-Seventies. The song "Love Train" remains popular today.

((CUT 5 – "LOVE TRAIN"))

Music critics are praising the Three Mo' Tenors. Experts say the tenors are excellent at singing many kinds of music, as a group and as individuals.

The Three Mo' Tenors concert ends with a spiritually emotional performance of gospel songs. The tenors are joined by a small group of gospel singers. We leave you with "It's My Time to Be Blessed."

((CUT 6 – "IT'S MY TIME TO BE BLESSED"))

This program was written by Lawan Davis. It was produced by Caty Weaver. Our studio engineer was Holly Capehart. I'm Steve Ember. And I'm Mary Tillotson. Join us again next week for another report about life in the United States on the VOA Special English program, THIS IS AMERICA.


"This Is America" in VOA Special English
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Source: THIS IS AMERICA - January 25, 2002: Three Mo' Tenors
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