IF YOU GO
■ What: "Finale!" concert by Chattanooga Boys Choir and Tennessee Valley Voices.
■ When: 7 p.m. today, May 8.
■ Where: Second Presbyterian Church, 700 Pine St.
■ Admission: Free, but offering will be collected.
■ Phone: 423-634-2299
TENNESSEE VALLEY VOICES FOUNDING MEMBERS
Tonight's "Finale!" is the Chattanooga Boys Choir's annual season-ending concert, but the 110 young choristers may be upstaged by 14 adult singers who are making their debut as the Tennessee Valley Voices.
The new choir is the result of a brainstorming session last fall during an in-service for the Hamilton County Elementary Music Educators Association, says Vic Oakes, director of the CBC and now the TVV.
"We were doing a workshop, discussing educational issues and music teachers finding their role in the school system. Somebody in the group mentioned the importance of being recognized beyond the classroom, that they were contributing members of society both through children's education and as artists," Oakes recalls. "Although these people have devoted their lives to teaching children, we don't want to minimize their potential as performance artists as well."
Giving this some thought, he cleared it with the CBC board to found a chorus that the CBC would underwrite. The TVV's founding membership includes elementary school music teachers, music specialists, middle and high school choir directors, a private vocal coach and a teacher from First Baptist Church's Academy of Fine Arts.
These singers have met twice a month since February, reviewing a wide variety of music in preparation for their debut tonight, May 8, at Second Presbyterian Church. Since all are accomplished musicians, they were able to learn music at home between their eight rehearsals. Oakes says the pieces they have chosen to sing represent diverse genres, but their lyrics also express the singers' belief that "music is critical to our humanity and our culture."
They will sing David Dickau's "If Music Be the Food of Love," Gerald Finzi's setting of "My Spirit Sang All Day," Andre Thomas' arrangement of the spiritual "I Open My Mouth to the Lord," Mark Hayes' setting of "Home on the Range" and "Ludovico da Viadana's "Exsultate Justi," which is based on Psalm 33 (Rejoice in the Lord, sing to him and give praise.)
Boys from all five CBC choirs will perform during the concert. The concert choir will premiere Cleveland, Tenn., composer Susan LaBarr's work, "The Castle Builder," with text by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The choirs will also sing selections of Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance," folk songs, spirituals and Christopher Tye's "Laudate Nomen Domini."
For the concert's finale, all choirs will join to perform Leon Dubinsky's inspiring work "We Rise Again."
Contact Susan Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6284.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...