Published Sunday, December 02, 2012
By JOAN DOGGRELL
Special to the Times-Herald
On Dec. 16, 3 pm, at the Centre for the Performing and Visual Arts, Masterworks Chorale and the brand new Centre Masterworks Youth Chorale will join other community groups in a program of well-loved Christmas music.
“The songs are familiar, but the arrangements are challenging enough to provide scope for the talented singers in Masterworks, several of whom teach music and chorus professionally,” said Kathy Bizarth, Masterworks’ artistic director.
Masterworks will be performing a mixture of carols and popular seasonal favorites: “The First Nowell,” “This Christmastide,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas, “Sleigh Ride,” “The Little Drummer Boy,” “Peace, Peace,” “Joy to the World,” “White Christmas,” “Angels We have Heard on High,” and more.
“Everybody loves Christmas music. Hopefully we’ll sing one of everybody’s favorites,” said Bizarth.
The concert will also include the premiere appearance of the Centre Masterworks Youth Chorale, led by founder and director Millie Lanier Turek. In addition to performing on their own, they will join Masterworks and part of the Newnan High School percussion ensemble in “Hope for Resolution.”
Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory, the arrangers of “Hope for Resolution,” have dedicated the song to Nelson Mandella and Frederik Willem de Clerk, opponents during South Africa’s struggle for freedom. The score combines “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” in English, with an anti-apartheid song in Zulu. Caldwell and Ivory explain that “The arrangement reflects our respect for divergent musical styles and points us toward our innate (though sometimes neglected) potential for peaceful coexistence.”
“The Centre Masterworks Youth Chorale is eagerly anticipating their debut performance in the Masterworks holiday concert,” said Turek. “The seventeen charter members of this newly formed community children’s choir have only been rehearsing since late September. In this short time, they have been working intensely on the fundamentals of ensemble singing, music reading, and performance practice.”
“I am so proud of these young people who have committed their time and talents to put something truly beautiful into the world,” added Turek.
The youth chorale portion of the concert will feature familiar sacred and secular holiday classics such as Yon’s “Gesu Bambino,” Vaughan Williams’ arrangement of “Gloucetershire Wassail,” and “Christmastime is Here” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The accompanist for the youth corale is Kelly Jackson.
Members of the Northgate High School Women’s Ensemble, directed by Rachel Gordon, have also been invited to perform as special guests with the youth chorale. The youth chorale and the Northgate Women will join the Masterworks Chorale on several pieces in a combined finale to the program, making this a truly community Christmas celebration.
The youth chorale will hold auditions for membership in January 2013 for the spring semester. They are seeking children with unchanged treble voices, both boys and girls ages 9-14 who are outstanding members of their school or church choirs and are looking for additional advanced opportunity in choral singing.
To schedule an appointment for an audition, email email@example.com or call the Centre at 770-254-2787.
Other groups represented at the concert are a Newnan brass ensemble playing Christmas carols, the hand bell players from First United Methodist Church, and members of the ninth grade Women’s Ensemble from Northgate High School. The concert will end with both choirs and the brass ensemble joining in “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”
“I think the concert will offer something for everybody,” said Bizarth. “I’m really excited about bringing in the children. I’m delighted to have the brass ensemble as well. It adds a different layer to the music we’re doing.”
“With Newnan and Northgate high schools represented, Masterworks, the children’s chorale, First United Methodist Church’s bell choir and the brass ensemble, we’re really getting the community involved,” added Bizarth.