Choral Arts Is ‘Falling in Love’ On May 18

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Singing group Choral Arts of Chattanooga presents an evening of music from stage and screen centered on the theme of love at 7:30 p.m. on May 18 at Second Presbyterian Church. The organization seeks to attract a younger audience, while keeping true to the organization’s mission to perform a wide variety of choral music.  

Most of the music this season has been drawn from the classical tradition, but the final concert will mainly come from Broadway shows, film, and even a Beatles song interpreted by Boyz II Men. “One of my main inspirations for this concert is to try to bring in new audience members,” explained Artistic Director Darrin Hassevoort.  

Choral groups across the country have suffered from what some refer to as the “graying of American choirs.” Chorus members are aging and fewer young people are joining the ranks, so the average age is steadily rising, and participation numbers are declining as people age out. In similar fashion, audiences are graying and declining in number as well, said officials.

Conductors like Mr. Hassevoort are concerned about the future of choral music, so Choral Arts is beginning to explore avenues to connect with young people to cultivate both new singers and audience members. Programming music that will appeal to younger people is a first step. Collaborations with young singers in the 2017-2018 season will be another.  

Striking a balance of satisfying the core audience, attracting new singers and audience members, while also keeping existing singers—many of whom are professionals—challenged and excited about singing is no small undertaking. But Mr. Hassevoort listens to singers’ suggestions and puts great thought into each concert. Mr. Hassevoort says the programming choices “are also driven my desire to make sure Choral Arts is honoring the visions of its founder, John Hamm, to cover a wide range of choral music.”  

The May 18 concert will add a new feature with spoken word. De’Lara Khalili Stephens, an English professor from Chattanooga State, will read poetry, which along with the music, reflects the love theme. The narration leads the audience through the journey of relationships from the excitement of new love to the tumult of love gone awry and the power of a great love, said to conquer even death.

Solos, duets and choral selections will be sung from more contemporary works like Beauty and the Beast and Secret Garden as well as from standards like State Fair and West Side Story. The title of the concert, “Falling in Love,” comes from a line in the opening piece, “It’s a Grand Night for Singing.” 

The evening will culminate in the song “Make our Garden Grow” from Bernstein’s Candide, which alludes to the rewards of tending love like a garden. The piece, much like love itself, rises from a soft, sweet melody into an expansive Coplandesque crescendo for an exciting end to the concert.  

Admission for the concert will be $20 for adults or $10 with student ID. 




PHOTOS: Full House Greets Steve Wariner At Songbirds

Upcoming Lineup At Charles And Myrtle's Coffeehouse

Here is the upcoming lineup for Charles and Myrtle's Coffeehouse.  The coffeehouse is inside Christ Unity Church at 105 McBrien Road. April 28 Rough and Tumble     Americana/ Folk May 5  Seven to the Sea         Celtic/ Folk May 12. Michal johnathon       Creator of Woodsongs Radio Show and Woodsongs Songfarmers ... (click for more)

Robert Gillisse Was Pilot Killed In Plane Crash At Collegedale Airport

The pilot who was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening has been identified as Robert Gillisse, 62, of Ooltewah . Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane was a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said Mr. Gillisse frequently had flown out of ... (click for more)

East Ridge To Build Open-Air Pavilion Near City Hall

East Ridge plans to construct an open-air pavilion that will include restrooms and a concession area near City Hall and the old McBrien School.  It will be part of a Town Center for East Ridge at the Tombras Avenue property. The city is also applying for a $500,000 grant to help convert Pioneer Park into a refurbished park with a splash pad. The firm of Hefferlin and ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)