Yet Another Well-Kept Chattanooga State Secret

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - by Tom Hammett
It has been quite a while since I have worked directly with Maestro Darrin Hassevoort, but in every instance, his work has been solid and respectable. Tuesday night’s Masterworks concert was no exception.

The Concert Choir is an excellent ensemble of some 28 singers, accompanied on piano by Janelle McDonald. Following a golden rule of concert programming, Hassevoort held the performance to just under one hour. I was taught that if a concert goes over one hour, you should give away a car as a door prize.

The first portion of the concert presented three choral selections from standard literature including Barber, Brahms and Gawthrop. The choir produces a remarkable balance with a rich choral tone. Their diction is unusually clean, and Hassevoort’s conducting is quite masterful. Their excellent choral techniques help to create lovely and effective interpretation.

An extra treat on the program was the professional piano quintet. Familiar musicians including Concert Master: Mark Reneau, Violin: Sheri Peck, Viola: Laurie Redmer Minner, Cello: Eric Reed, and Piano: Alan Nichols made up an exquisite instrumental ensemble. The viola was particularly expressive and musical during the Elgar number.

Hassevoort programmed a new composer to my ear this evening. Two works by Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978) highlighted the best of the choir’s abilities. The choir was infused with resilient energy within the context of a warm and charming ambiance. The piano quintet served not only as a handsomely balanced accompaniment, but as an integral part of the music.

I observed two additional qualities during the evening. First, the Chattanooga State Choral Department is in excellent hands under the direction of Darrin Hassevoort. With the passing and retirement of many of the giants of the last generation of conductors, one might wonder about the future of quality music in our culture. Hassevoort helps assuage any anxiety concerning musical leadership and quality education of young musicians. Second, young composers such as Ola Gjeilo assure the solidity of high-quality, serious composition for vocal and instrumental ensembles for many years to come.  

I was pleasantly surprised once again by the outstandingly collegiate sound of the Chattanooga State Community College Music Department Concert Choir and instrumental quintet. Their robust maturity allows them to hold their own with commanding assurance in our cultural community.

Dalton State To Produce "Romeo And Juliet"

Dalton State is bringing William Shakespeare's “Romeo and Juliet” to the stage on April 9, 10, and 11 at 7 p.m. and April 12 at 2 p.m. in the City Park School auditorium, 405 School St.  Directed by Jackie Daniels, assistant professor of communication and theatre arts, this show marks the second time Roadrunners have tackled the Bard in Daniels’ time at the College. ... (click for more)

Upcoming Events At Track 29 Includes The War On Drugs

Here are the upcoming shows and events for Track 29:  April Wednesday, April 1   The War on Drugs, Featuring Hop Along Doors: 8pm Show:9pm $23 advance $26 day of 18+ (Valid Photo ID Required) For more information/tickets: http://track29.co/event.cfm?id=189319&cart   Tuesday, April 14 ... (click for more)

Cabela's To Open Fort Oglethorpe Store May 13

Cabela’s announced Monday plans to celebrate the official grand opening of its new Fort Oglethorpe store on Wednesday, May 13, with a unique ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a weekend-long celebration featuring giveaways, family activities and more.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by Cabela's executives and special guests, will begin at 9:45 a.m. and conclude with ... (click for more)

City Detective Who Was Arrested Twice In 4 Months Is Fired After Internal Affairs Investigation

A city detective who was arrested twice in four months has been fired by Police Chief Fred Fletcher. David Catchings had been charged with DUI last September and then with domestic assault at the end of the year. Police said, "After a complete review of both investigations – which included recommendations from Internal Affairs, the Administrative Review Committee and Officer ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye, Dr. Nassour

About 51 years ago, right after Jim Creel had graduated from the University of Texas and was in Guadalajara for medical school, he was surprised to find a complete stranger sitting on his battered and dusty Volkswagen. “He had seen my Longhorns sticker and was thrilled to find somebody else in Mexico who loved the University of Texas. “That’s when our friendship started and it ... (click for more)