Tusculum Community Chorus to perform ‘Messiah’ at Christmas concert on campus

Published 10:39 am Monday, December 4, 2023

GREENEVILLE – A relaxing and spiritually uplifting evening awaits guests when the Tusculum University Community Chorus takes the stage for its annual Christmas concert.
The chorus will perform “Messiah, A Sacred Oratorio” by G.F. Handel at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, in the Marilyn duBrisk Theatre of Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center. The concert will be almost exclusively the first part of “Messiah,” delivered in six segments that will delve into the prophesy and birth of the Messiah. However, it will conclude with God’s triumph, which is contained in Part 2 of “Messiah.” A 17-piece orchestra will accompany the on all parts of “Messiah.”
At the end of the concert, the chorus will sing “Somewhere in My Memory” by John Williams and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” from “A Feast of Carols,” arranged by Randal Alan Bass. Pianist Karen Miller will accompany the chorus on these two songs.
“Our chorus will enrich personal lives with a delightful concert that will reinforce Scripture as we share the story of Christ’s birth and some of His ministry,” said Kathy May, the group’s director and conductor. “Now that we have entered this holy season, we encourage you to experience the word of God in song and enjoy a wonderful performance. Chorus members look forward to sharing their gift of song with all of our guests.”
Several songs will be performed by the entire chorus, but it will incorporate many solos and recitatives as well as pieces limited to the orchestra.
The concert is free, but donations are welcome.
The chorus consists of 47 members, who come from the community and Tusculum’s staff and student body. During the summer, chorus members performed a concert tour of Costa Rica. The chorus has also traveled to Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland, Austria and Italy. On Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m., the chorus will sing two choruses from “Messiah” as well as “Somewhere in My Memory” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” with the Johnson City Symphony at the East Tennessee State University Martin Center.
May has served as Tusculum’s chorus director and conductor since 2015. She retired from a 37-year public school music teaching career in 2017. She is an adjunct music professor at ETSU, where she conducts the East Tennessee Belles-Soprano/Alto Choir and teaches Introduction to Music. In 2017, she earned the Tennessee American Choral Directors “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
“We are proud to have such an outstanding chorus program and a tremendous leader in Kathy,” said Rouja Green, director of Tusculum’s Center for the Arts. “We welcome the opportunity to showcase the talent of our performers and our awesome choir director and are pleased she has planned an exceptional evening of song for all of us to enjoy. We value our connections to the community and will be pleased to see many guests from East Tennessee in the audience.”

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