By Tori Bachman-Johnson ‘12
Georgetown College News Bureau Intern
Most years the Georgetown College Chorale tops off a state or regional tour with the popular Home Concert in John L. Hill Chapel. But, high gas prices and a troubled economy put a damper on the usual game plan.
Call it The Stay-at-Home Concert …and enjoy just the same at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16. This sole fall performance is free and open to the public.
The Chorale has been practicing some of their selections since the spring, preparing for a typical tour that includes performances at about six churches and often a high school. These trips serve as a recruiting tool for the musical group – and the College, too – reaching places that “Georgetown College is not likely to be represented at otherwise,” according to director John Campbell.
Campbell is holding out hope that the Chorale will get to travel to the home church of one choir member from Winchester. The church offered to provide transportation for the group, although these travel plans are still taking shape. (If your church is interested in hosting the Chorale, e-mail email@example.com or call the director at 502-863-8117.)
The Chorale did have the chance to perform locally during an Oct. 5 service at Faith Baptist Church. The congregation was treated to six of the pieces from their fall program and 11 Chorale alumni joined the students for the benediction, “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.” Closing performances with that particular piece is a long-established tradition, dating back to at least the 1930s.
The upcoming concert features a wide variety of music, ranging from a set of rhythmic spirituals to several “high art” pieces. “If you’re not crazy about the song at the moment, give it a minute – it’ll change,” said Campbell of the hour-long program.
One piece sure to catch the audience’s attention is “Reconciliation.” Featuring Junior Chuck Harris on trumpet, this selection employs the non-traditional technique of chorale members speaking in rhythm. The sophomore from Lexington will also step up to conduct “Offertory,” a piece by John Ness Beck. The program includes several Latin pieces, as well as the first movement of Psalm 98 by 20th century composer Hugo Distler, a German who took his own life during World War II. Campbell described the work as both “challenging” and “fabulous,” showcasing the sheer sound produced by the group.
While at times some of the songs are harsh and discordant, Campbell feels sure that they will resonate with the audience.
“The music isn’t necessarily pretty, but it can be deeply emotional and moving.”
CALENDAR NOTE…Save the Date!
The Georgetown College Concert Choir’s annual Messiah Concert has been moved up to pre-Thanksgiving this year. The free performance – which will feature Part 1 of Handel’s Messiah, some Christmas carols and other holiday music – is 8 pm, Thursday, November 20 in Hill Chapel.