Category Archives: Performances

From the Conductor

We are all connected in this world

From the conductor:

Life and death, food and drink, different faiths, family and friends, old and young, poverty and wealth, sickness and health. These are but a few of the things that connect us to each other. This concert is about how we are CONNECTED. The “theme song” says that “ I am you are me, don’t you see? There is something between us that’s greater than air.” All of the music tonight is connected. It’s as if a great puzzle is being put together as we hear each piece. We welcome the Millikin Youth Choir to our concert tonight. They connect with us in melody and harmony that is universal to all.

The major piece in our puzzle is “I Share Creation” by Bob Chilcott, a former King Singer. There are four sources for the texts: anonymous Chinese, anonymous Aztec, Chief Seattle, and anonymous Arctic Eskimo. They all share creation as they have experienced it.

Our choir is CONNECTED by talent. Two pieces feature instrumentalists from the choir: Christine Smith, oboe and John Gorecki, clarinet. “Lullaby” was composed by tenor Conrad Fassig.

So enjoy the variety in this concert. Perhaps there will be a moment, or many moments which will connect you with yourself or someone or something. And, thanks for coming tonight. Let’s stay CONNECTED!!

Milt Scott Conductor.

A Question

Get ready for our first question to you after our fall concert. Many of us will want to know which music selection was your favorite? Remember to bring a pen to jot down notes on your program for reference when we ask you.

This is a tough year to pick a favorite. You may think of Vivaldi’s Gloria as having nine choruses. There are several of these that are swirling around my brain throughout the week. (See my article “Earworms” which is also found on this website.) Gloria also has a duet written for angels and three solos, all sung by members of Opus 24.

We will have three selections sung by our recipients of the Decatur Choral Society’s voice lesson scholarships. We are looking forward to hearing this generation of future musicians. You will also enjoy listening to our accompanist, Beth Creighton, play a piece for us and later play with the string quartet with Dr. Bruce Gibbons playing a duel piano part in a very dramatic arrangement of Angels from the Realms of Glory. The Heritage quartet will accompany Opus as well as play some selections of their own.

This concert is going to be a special one with a nice variety of music, and is just right for starting our Christmas season. Please join us on November 25, 2014. We look forward to seeing you, and — what will be your favorite piece?

Bill Horton
Decatur Choral Society

I’ve Never Heard Opus Sing

I have sung in the tenor section of Opus 24 for 23 years.  In all that time I have never heard Opus sing.

Now, I have heard each section sing, usually from in back or next to them.  But I have never sat facing Opus and actually heard the blend of their voices at one time.  I know that the tenors and the other sections sound wonderful, but I’ve never gotten to hear their blended harmonies as a choral sound should be heard.  

Milt Scott, our director, has heard us many times or course, from that scary place in front, with singers concentrating on his every gesture, facial expression, and nuance of body language which we are trained to study.  But usually he is a little too close to enjoy the blend of sound.  Occasionally he does walk far back to enjoy the sounds in space and distance, mixed in with the acoustic presence of our venue.  However, he is thinking about quite a few technical details so it is probably difficult to just sit back and let the sound flow over and around him.  He generally spends little time at a distance from the choir, and soon moves back to his command post.  

The irony of this is that I don’t think I could sit back and listen to Opus 24 sing to me, with the chords sounding like they are written to sound for an audience.  My ears and brain automatically and uncontrollably sort out the tenor part, and leaves the rest of the beautiful melodies and chordal fulfillment as just background sound.  In fact, if I were just listening, I’d be thinking, “I want to be singing!”  It takes a couple of years for me to not separate the tenor part from the music.  Then I am listening to a recording rather than a live performance.

The audiences are fortunate to be able to enjoy what I can’t hear.  Come and hear our blends of sound which we have put together for you at our concert November 25th, 2014.  You’ll be glad that you did!

William Horton
Decatur Choral Society