Concert review: Christian Douglas at Strathmore Music Center, Patio Stage

Christian Douglas performed at the Patio Stage at the Strathmore Music Center.

A perfect way to spend a summer night might be to sit on the patio of the Strathmore Music Center listening to a talented local artist as part of their summer concert series. Despite a short delay due to lightning strikes in the area and an untimely end because of it, it turned out to be a most memorable event. The performer that night was Christian Douglas, a member of the Strathmore Artist-in-Residence Program. All of the performers on stage that night were former or current performers of the class.

Douglas is an accomplished artist as a singer, pianist. and composer. He studied classical singing at the University of Maryland and. once graduated. he was tenor for the United States Army Chorus where he performed for many national leaders and foreign dignitaries. Douglas has also appeared on stage in the DC metro area, most recently for Signature Theater’s virtual “Midnight at the Never Get”. Douglas’s original music ranges from soft pop to light rock with wonderful ballads. It has the feel of some modern musicals like “Dear Evan Hanson,” mixed with a bit of the late Harry Chapin – who told stories with music – and a dash of Dylan.

Christian Douglas is a very talented composer and performer, whom we should all be watching in the future.

Douglas opened with “Stay Inside” from his new album “Inside Voice”. The song was written during the pandemic and the quarantine. With a few guitars and percussion behind it, the song had a heavier rock rhythm than on his album. It was a perfect opening.

He followed up with a commissioned work he wrote for the Artists-in-Residence program. In fact, several songs he wrote were based on the New York Times “Modern Love” sub-column, “Tiny Love Stories”. They ranged from bitter break-ups to a more tender love as illustrated through the seasons. A crowd favorite was “She Waters Me Every Day”. The story behind this is that the man’s girlfriend cares about him so much that she makes sure he stays hydrated. The song was warm and witty at the same time.

This was followed by other songs on the album. Douglas was joined by two backing vocals as well as the rock band. He chose “Through the Screen”, on falling in love during the pandemic, “Love Thy Neighbor” which dealt with last year’s conflicts and “On the Tip of My Tongue”, reflecting the expectation of inspiration. of the composer. He also included “A Little Love” based on a poem by Carl Sandburg, “At a Window”, followed by “Simple Life” written when Douglas was preparing to try out his talents in New York City he was considering settling in. Two string players have been added for several of the pieces.

It ended as the storm seemed to threaten the night sky again with “Hold On” which started out as a a cappella song but ended with a country and well-being sound.

It was a refreshing concert in the extreme heat of that day. You can let your mind get absorbed in the music and relax. Christian Douglas is a very talented composer and performer, whom we should all be watching in the future.

Duration: All concerts generally last between 60 and 70 minutes.

This concert took place on June 30, 2021. The Strathmore Music Center will be holding concerts on the terrace throughout the summer. If you want to buy tickets, go to this link.

You can hear Christian Douglas’ “Inside Voice” on Amazon Music, iTunes, Spotify and other streaming platforms or you can order his CD at this link.

To learn more about Christian Douglas, read Susan Brall’s interview with Christian Douglas in Maryland Theater Guide.

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