July 18, 2009
Jan Swoope - [email protected]
Enthusiastic organizers have been hard at work laying solid groundwork for the newly-formed Columbus Choral Society. The group dedicated to bringing more fine art choral singing to the Golden Triangle has set initial auditions for Thursday, Aug. 13, and Tuesday, Aug. 18. Interested singers, male and female, over the age of 16 are invited to audition in the First United Methodist Church Choir Room, 602 Main St., between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The Society''s goal is to form a group capable of mastering more complex music with relatively few rehearsals. Those rehearsals will be held on Thursdays from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. The first performance is scheduled for Nov. 15.
Choral Society Director Doug Browning, said, "We''re really interested in bringing more fine art music to the community; there''s a need for it here." Browning, music director at FUMC, conducted the 2008 community presentation of Handel''s Messiah.
"I''ve been to concerts in larger cities of these type of choral ensembles," he continued. "Not only are they excellent quality, they''re totally volunteer. It can be done, so why not here?"
In addition to a concert series in Columbus, organizers foresee the chorale representing the city beyond the area, and even the state.
One of the new group''s goals will be to perform a broad repertoire representing choral singing''s rich history, including music from the Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic periods.
"Choral music is a different genre, in my opinion, because of how long it''s been around; you''re talking about 1,500 years of music," Browning stated. "We''ll have a good mixture of what we call heavy music, which will take a substantial commitment to rehearse, and then a portion of what I''d refer to as light music."
Columbus Girlchoir director and Mississippi University for Women music instructor Dr. Cherry Dunn is also part of the spearheading group.
"I''m just thrilled," Dunn said. "There are a lot of people in this town who enjoy that kind of choral singing -- witness the big choir that comes together for the Messiah every year. We''ve not had an outlet for it in a long time. If Tupelo can have a community choir, why can''t we?"
The project''s proponents have high hopes for a vibrant Choral Society and what it can add culturally to the community.
"When you come to a fine art concert, it''s more than entertainment," concluded Browning. "If done well, it will enlighten the audience."
Other members of the organizing committee include Dr. Debra Atkinson, Tamie Adams, Jim Armstrong, Amy King and Lori Pierce.
For more information, contact Adams at 662-328-3466, or e-mail her at [email protected]
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.