Penn State’s “Essence of Joy” (Castleton, March 3, 2012)

Saturday, March 3,  7:30 p.m., Grace Congregational Church

Grace Church and Castleton State College welcome Essence of Joy from the Pennsylvania State University School of Music. “Essence of Joy”, directed by Dr. Tony Leach, will present an upbeat concert of African-American Spirituals and Gospel music.

The concert will also feature the Grace Church Choir, Castleton State College Collegiate Choir, House Blend and Mill River Senior Chorus. The performance will come to a glorious finish with the combined ensembles directed by Dr. Leach. Please join us for this wonderful celebration of music! A free-will offering will be received. “Essence of Joy” is one of ten choral ensembles in the Penn State University School of Music. Organized in November 1991, the choir has performed sacred and secular music from the African and African American traditions all over the United States and in Poland, the Czech Republic, and South Africa. “Essence of Joy” has performed at the Lincoln Center and the Schomburg Museum in New York City, and has sung for many national music conferences for organizations such as the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education. The ensemble’s mission is to learn, present, and promote African and African-American sacred and secular music in an effort to entertain, inspire, affirm and unify the worldwide community.

Director and founder, Dr. Tony Leach, is an Associate Professor of Music and Music Education at the Pennsylvania State University. His choirs have performed at festivals throughout the United States and Canada and all over Europe. He frequently appears as a guest conductor for choral festivals and workshops, including the Vermont All State Music Festival in Spring 2011. He has presented seminars and workshops for professional and music organizations in America and beyond, and is also a well-known organist, piano accompanist, and composer/arranger.