March 22, 2002
The Maryville College Concert Choir will perform its annual Homecoming concert on March 28 in Wilson Chapel on the campus. The performance, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.
The March 28 concert is scheduled in conjunction with the 2002 Choir Tour. Held annually since the 1940s, the Choir Tour gives choir members an opportunity to travel and perform in churches and high schools outside the East Tennessee area during Spring Break.
During the Tour this year, the 32-member choir performed five concerts in venues between Maryville, Tenn., and Williamsburg, Va. Choir members performed in Princeton, W.V.; Chester, Va.; Richmond, Va.; Asheville, N.C.; and Greeneville, Tenn.
Under the direction of Ms. Stacey Murphy Wilner, the choir has worked on selections that represent many musical genres. The concert program is separated into two parts: A traditional celebration of music; and a celebration of music of colonial America.
The theme for the tour - and for the March 28 concert - is "Sing me to Heaven," which comes from the lyrics of a choral number by Daniel Gawthorp. To complement the Tour's stops in 224-year old Abingdon, Va., Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, and Colonial Williamsburg (Va.), the choir added a few patriotic numbers to its program.
Katie Wagner, a member of the Concert Choir, explained the connection between the tour's theme and the places choir members will be visiting during their tour.
"As Daniel E. Gawthorp superbly expresses in his work, the grace of song enables the human spirit to share those emotions, which we experience from our first lullaby to our last requiem," said Wagner, who is majoring in music education at the College. "The choir has the privilege to convey through music these dreams of love, hope and peace to a nation that has fought for the right to live freely for many years."
Wilner, who holds degrees in music education and choral conducting from Concord College and the University of Tennessee, said she is very proud of this year's Choir. She believes that the members of the Choir have shown amazing versatility in their ability to adapt to a variety of choral styles, have demonstrated a real interest in learning, and have exhibited musical growth as individuals and an ensemble.
"Because of a strong work ethic and willingness of members to invest a lot of their time, this year's Concert Choir has shown creative growth and exhibits a real passion and love for choral music," she said. "They truly give the best of themselves in both the rehearsal and performance setting."
Featured selections from the concert include Harry Harter's "The Twenty-Third Psalm," Felix Mendelssohn's "He, Watching Over Israel," Daniel Gawthorp's "Sing Me to Heaven," Bob Chilcott's "Shenandoah," William Billing's "David's Lamentation," Aaron Copland's "Zion's Walls" and "Hark! I Hear the Harps Eternal" composed by Robert Shaw and Alice Parker.
The concert choir will perform during the 10:30 a.m. worship service at New Providence Presbyterian Church on April 7. On April 9, members will travel to Seymour High School, Heritage High School and Maryville High School for performances.
For more information on the concert, call the Division of Fine Arts at 865-981-8150.
Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state‘s third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for its academic rigor and its focus on the liberal arts, Maryville is where students come to stretch their minds, stretch themselves and learn how to make a difference in the world. Total enrollment for the fall 2012 semester was 1,093.