Blog Spotlight: The Sound of Charleston

BillandBartIt’s no secret that Charleston is a city filled with a historically rich past. From the architecture, to past events, to the people that inhabited the peninsula, Charleston has been a home to history. But what about the arts that corresponded with all the history that occurred? The Sound of Charleston explores and combines the history of Charleston with the unique sounds that could only come out of the Holy City.

Performed at the Circular Congregational Church, a historic setting on its own, the Sound of Charleston gives life to the past. Bringing in about 18 different artists, such as pianist Ghadi Shayban, jazz artist Charlton Singleton and soprano D’Jaris Whipper-Lewis, the Sound of Charleston performances are broken into four different sections, light classics and jazz, music of the Civil War, gospel spirituals and Gershwin. Each set shows a different side of Charleston’s history, all with music and artists that came from the Holy City. It is the Charleston authenticity used in the Sound of Charleston that makes this organization stand apart from the rest. It is not another musical performance, but yet, a cultural experience on top of an artistic one. You can learn about an entire city’s history while enjoying a variety of different artists.AnnCaldwell

This unique idea came to Bill Perry about four years ago on a vacation in Vienna, Austria. While sitting through a concert, Perry was inspired and began to think of Charleston’s historic music and space, and thus, the Sound of Charleston was born. The first concert was performed in 2010, and from there the Sound of Charleston has performed at local hotels, the Citadel, and on cruise ships. As well as local performances in the area and at the church, the Sound of Charleston performs for school group field trips. The show can often be cut down to cater to the younger audience, making the Sound of Charleston a great candidate for field trips and educational purposes.

GhadiShaybanArtistic Director Bill Schlitt researched the historical side of the Sound of Charleston. Schlitt explained that Charleston is one of the best cities for a project like this because of the great amount of historic and artistic connections. He also explained that the Sound of Charleston is looking to expand their horizons by looking into ragtime music and adding more jazz to the show. With all the history in the area, I’m sure finding ragtime and jazz connections to add to the show will be quite simple and be a great addition to the performances.

So, the next time you are in need of some history, Charleston pride, music, or a combination of all three, go see the fantastic Sound of Charleston in action to get your fix. For more information go to