Essex Children’s Choir 25th Anniversary Gala Concert

Essex Children’s Choir
25th Anniversary Gala Concert
June 23 at 3pm!

The Essex Children’s Choir is celebrating 25 years Essex Children's Choir 25th anniversary concert, conducted by Vermont ACDA member Constance Priceof enriching young lives through choral artistry. The Founding Director, Constance Price, will lead the choir in a 25th Anniversary Gala Concert titled “Many Voices, One Orchestra” on Saturday, June 23 at 3:00 p.m. at the Breeding Barn at Shelburne Farms. 

Vocal ensembles collaborating with the Essex Children’s Choir (ECC) for this program include Counterpoint, under the direction of Nathaniel Lew, and Maple Jam, Vermont’s premier a cappella jazz ensemble. Guest soloists are tenor Wayne Hobbs, a resident of Vergennes, and baritone Benjamin Dickerson, an ECC alumnus.

Admission is $25 for adults; $12 for children and students. Tickets are available through the Flynn Regional Box Office, online at www.flynntix.org, or by calling (802) 86-FLYNN. 

The repertoire for this anniversary celebration represents a journey from the art music of Europe to the shores of America. The children in the ECC will present music by Handel, Mozart, Kodaly, and Copland. They will also present a contemporary setting of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem, “Where Go the Boats?” by American composer Ulysses Kay.

Counterpoint, a professional vocal ensemble, will perform “Sol fegging” by Morton Gould and then join the ECC to perform “O for the Wings of a Dove” by Felix Mendelssohn. Tenor Wayne Hobbs will join Counterpoint and the ECC for a new setting of the beloved “Pieu Jesu”. Maple Jam will perform “Gee, Mine or Mozart,” based on Mozart’s Symphony No. 40.

During her training at Howard University, choir director Constance Price was taught that “programming for audiences in our country must end with the art music of America.” This belief is evident in the repertoire chosen to close this Gala program. The ECC will pay tribute to the legendary Marion Williams when they perform the folk song, “Didn’t it Rain,” as well as a setting of Deep River arranged by Harry T. Burleigh. Maple Jam will perform “Splanky,” one of Count Basie’s classic swing songs. Finally, t he concert will end with audience participation, a long-held ECC tradition dating back to 1987. Audience members will be encouraged to sing with the performers in Amazing Grace, written by John Newton, the owner of a slave vessel. The program closes with the audience and performers singing America the Beautiful as arranged by the legendary Ray Charles.

The Essex Children’s Choir consists of twenty young musicians in grades two-twelve. The current choir members come from Burlington, Cambridge, Charlotte, Essex, Essex Junction, Jericho, Lyndonville, Montpelier, Saint Albans, South Burlington, and Williston. A mainstay of the local arts scene, over the past 25 years the choir has collaborated with numerous performing groups and presenters including the Vermont Symphony, VT Youth Orchestra, Burlington Oratorio Society, Counterpoint, the Flynn Center, and the Lane Series. They have per formed for memorials, celebrations, and fundraisers, appearing in venues ranging from hospitals and public parks to the VT State House and the Shelburne Museum. The choir has also represented Vermont outside of the state, most recently by performing at the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division Conference held in Providence, RI in February 2012.

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