Augusta Chorale, choirs, Suzuki Strings unite for holiday concert

CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
Ladell Fortune directs the Augusta Chorale rehearsal Monday night of the hymn Angels We Have Heard on High.
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This year’s Christmas concert is a much larger production for the Augusta Chorale than it has been in years past.

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Suzuki Strings of Augusta members Nicholas Brucker and Kitty Shepherd play Monday during rehearsal at Paine College's Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel for the Dec. 11 Augusta Chorale Holiday Concert Extravaganza.  CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
CHRIS THELEN/STAFF
Suzuki Strings of Augusta members Nicholas Brucker and Kitty Shepherd play Monday during rehearsal at Paine College's Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel for the Dec. 11 Augusta Chorale Holiday Concert Extravaganza.

For one thing, there will be more performers filling Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel at Paine College to sing Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11.

The all-adult chorale will be joined by the student choirs of Butler, Glenn Hills and Cross Creek high schools, as well as three local soloists. The 25-member senior ensemble of Suzuki Strings of Augusta and pianist Angela Arrington will provide the accompaniment.

A typical chorale concert features one or two soloists who have been invited to bring a specific talent to the program, said chorale director Phyllis Anderson. But this year the Augusta Chorale will perform Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria, a baroque piece that requires a large choir.

“I’m really excited because this is going to give students a chance to do something they haven’t done,” Anderson said.

Though she’s been director of the chorale for five years, Anderson said this is the first time she’s put together a concert of this magnitude.

Coordinating it has been a bit of a challenge. Planning began during the summer, when Anderson met with choir directors Mira Hobbs of Glenn Hills, Jerome Peterson of Cross Creek and Ladell Fortune of Butler high schools. Each of them has been preparing their respective choirs for this concert.

Anderson said she is excited about the opportunity to present the students in such a positive light.

“We read so much about the negative things children are doing,” she said. “We do need to recognize and nurture these children who are making a difference.”

Instead of professional soloists this year, Anderson has invited mezzo sopranos April Shelton and Marjorie Anita Purcell and soprano Sarah Price, music students at Augusta State University, to perform with the ensemble.

Anderson said that while having so many performers makes it sound like this will be a long, boring concert, it will actually be anything but. The Gloria itself will only last about 40 minutes.

“We are all singing one piece together,” she said. “It’s going to be a short and sweet concert that’s going to be joyful also.”

HOLIDAY CONCERT

WHAT: Augusta Chorale Holiday Concert Extravaganza

WHEN: 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11

WHERE: Gilbert-Lambuth Memorial Chapel, Paine College, 1235 15th St.

DETAILS: $15 adults; $5 children and students; (706) 830-0991 or (706) 836-9426


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