Columbus Girlchoir prepares for Christmas concert Friday

December 12, 2012 10:34:12 AM



The Columbus Girlchoir will present its 2012 Christmas concert Friday night at Mississippi University for Women's newly-renovated Poindexter Hall. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. 


The 40-member senior choir and 20-voice junior choir will combine for this seasonal highlight. 


"The size and sound of Poindexter is wonderful for us," said Cherry Dunn, who founded the choir in 2004. "It's the ideal space for a Christmas concert, and we invite everyone to be with us for music that really says, 'Merry Christmas.'" 


The choir will perform pieces like "One Little Candle," "I Saw Three Ships" and "Candlelight Carol," then combine for Wayne Bisbee's "Caroling Fantasy," with its "The First Noel opening and modestly syncopated "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," concluding with handbells. 


In November, the choir took a "Superior" at the University of Mississippi Choral Festival. And throughout its 2012-13 season, the Columbus Girlchoir is building toward a first in its eight-year history: a May 23-26 trip to New York to rehearse and sing at Carnegie Hall. The 30 Columbus singers will make up 20 percent of the Mid-America Festival Chorus. 


"The trip is an artistic and financial challenge," Dunn said. "We of course plan to deliver a top-notch performance, and we have that in mind at every rehearsal. We are grateful to the grants we have from the Columbus Arts Council and the Mississippi Arts Commission and for the contributions this fall from people and businesses. We welcome donations, and we will make Columbus proud of the choir." 


Hope Oakes, president of the choir's parent guild, said it would be an understatement to say the girls are looking forward to Carnegie Hall. 


"They will turn to some money-making projects after the Christmas holidays," Oakes said. "We appreciate the support that our families and friends have given to us in so many ways."  


Two April events will help send the choir on its way: the annual Tour of Kitchens on April 20 and an April 27 concert at Poindexter with the Mississippi Girlchoir. Ticket sales will help with expenses, as will donations Friday night. 


The Girlchoir will hold its next audition Dec. 17 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Singers can enter the First United Methodist Church building from Sixth Street South and go upstairs to the choir room. 


Also helping the choirs at the Christmas concert will be assistant directors Tina Morgan and Rachel Delk and instrumentalists May Belinda Duckworth, Lynn Davis, Bryson Robinson and Jon Wright.