Friday's concert by the Tar River Children's Concert will offer a preview of the works the award-winning ensemble will perform later this month at Bruton Parish at Colonial Williamsburg, Va. The Rocky Mount concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 301 S. Circle Drive.
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Friday's concert by the Tar River Children's Concert will offer a preview of the works the award-winning ensemble will perform later this month at Bruton Parish at Colonial Williamsburg, Va. The Rocky Mount concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 301 S. Circle Drive.

Chorus concert runs musical gamut

From Staff Reports

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Music from Bach to The Byrds will be featured in Friday’s concert by the Tar River Children’s Chorus.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 301 S. Circle Drive. Admission is free; a love offering will be collected.

“The music in the concert extends from Bach to gospel to Pete Seeger and back,” a release says. “Lots of movement in the spirituals, African and gospel pieces will keep even the youngest engaged.”

Among the works performed by the Cantare, the chorus’ training program for third- through sixth-graders, will be “When I Turn My Heart to Heaven” by Joseph M. Martin and “Badgers And Hedgehogs.”

The program performed by the Concert Chorus, comprised of seventh- through 12th-graders, will include “Wir eilen” an adaptation of a Bach cantata, and “How Can I Keep from Singing,” an a cappella hymn by the Rev. Robert Lowry.

The Ensemble, made up of the chorus’ ninth- through 12th-graders, will perform “Things That Never Die,” a song by Lee Dengler based on the writing of Charles Dickens’ prose, and “Turn! Turn! Turn!” a song originally written by Seeger that The Byrds made into a Billboard No. 1 hit in 1965.

The chorus’ three groups will come together to perform an arrangement of “Amazing Grace” with Pachelbel’s “Canon.” The arrangement will include a flute solo by Tunisia Bulluck.

Conducting the performance will be Patsy Johnson Gilliland, who marks her 20th year as the chorus’ leader. In celebration of the anniversary, the chorus will perform her composition “My Heart Is Steadfast” as the concert’s finale.

Gilliland earned a bachelor’s in music at Meredith College and a master’s in music from Indiana University. A former professional singer, she also is a longtime Rocky Mount voice teacher and is worship leader for the Church of God’s Glory, which her husband, Peter, pastors.

Sally Moseley of Tarboro will be the concert’s pianist. Moseley earned a bachelor’s in piano performance from East Carolina University and a master’s in music at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. In addition to working with the chorus, she is a private piano teacher and has performed extensively in the Eastern United States.

The performance, the chorus’ annual spring concert, also will be a preview of the works it will perform May 24 at Bruton Parish, the oldest historic church in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., to mark the opening of the summer tourist season, a release says.

In the 23 years since its founding in 1991, the chorus has accumulated a lengthy number of honors and concert appearances in notable venues. The former includes twice being rated as the top elementary and high school choirs at the Music in the Parks festival at Busch Gardens, Va., and earning three gold ratings and the Festival Spirit Award in 2013 at the Heritage National Music Festival in New York City.

The chorus’ concert history includes performances at the National Cathedral in Washington, Riverside Church in New York City, the Church of the Holy Trinity in Philadelphia and the Piccolo Spoleto festival in Charleston, S.C. The chorus had its national debut in 1996 on the “CBS Morning Show.”

For information about the chorus, contact Gilliland at 442-1923 or pjg5349@gmail.com.