March 2017

The Hilton Head Choral Society Hosts Choral Festival

Author:  Emily Campbell

Music can draw people together like nothing else and make an audience get lost in a realm of song, forgetting their cares, even if it’s just for a night. If you want an evening full of music, harmony and entertainment, then the Hilton Head Choral Society’s Choral Festival is the place to be.

Over 175 multi-generational voices will be featured in the first-ever Choral Festival hosted by the Hilton Head Choral Society on Sunday, April 2 at 7 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 24 Pope Avenue, Hilton Head Island. The evening will feature music for all ages, ranging from sacred to secular pieces, with performances from the 100-voice Hilton Head Choral Society as well as four invited choruses—each with their own unique musical styles.

World-renowned composer and conductor Paul Basler will be the festival’s special guest. A professor of music at the University of Florida, Basler is hailed as one of the most performed composers of his generation. His works have been performed in venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood, the Spoleto Festival, Symphony Hall in Chicago, the Kennedy Center, the National Theatres of the Dominican Republic and Kenya, Lincoln Center, the Sydney Opera House and in Shanghai by the Shanghai Philharmonic.

Instead of a traditional spring concert, the Hilton Head Choral Society chose to give their loyal supporters and Lowcountry music lovers a special treat this year and reached out to four other unique choral groups to join them for an exciting evening of song. The melodious combination of these five groups will create an extraordinary performance the audience won’t soon forget.

While in Italy in 2009, members of the HHCS had the opportunity to hear the beautiful voices of a choral group from Kansas City, Missouri. The amazing quality of these singers’ voices and their sincere dedication to choral singing stood out so much that almost a decade later, the HHCS invited the University Singers from Avila University in Kansas City, led by Dr. Amity Bryson, to join in their first choral festival.

In search of other young voices to feature in the festival, the HHCS didn’t have to go far to find a new ensemble excited to perform with the chorus. In fact, they only had to cross the bridge. Under the direction of Jason Snyder, director of choral/orchestral activities, an ensemble of students from the new May River High School in Bluffton is sure to impress concertgoers.

Highlighting their vocal talents, the Charleston Southern University Horton School of Music Concert Singers will also be performing. Led by Ricard Bordas, assistant professor of music, this ensemble’s musical excellence will be on full display.

With a variety of singers of all ages, both amateur and professional, the Parish Choir of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Savannah, under the direction of Steven Branyon, will be sharing their vocal abilities as well. They are well known across our region for the quality of their weekly presentations in worship as well as their monthly Evensong services.

Each chorus will perform individually, showcasing their unique musical gifts and diverse styles, under the direction of each group’s conductor. Accompanied by a small orchestra, the choruses will then join together, under the baton of special guest conductor, Paul Basler, to perform his own powerful compositions of “Missa Brevis” and “Psalm 23.”

Seats for this evening full of choral expertise are sure to sell out, so you’ll want to get your tickets today. All seating is reserved. Tickets are $20-$40. Easy online ordering is available through the Choral Society’s website, hiltonheadchoralsociety.org or by phone, (843) 341-3818.

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