MC Concert Choir’s “American Echoes” spring choir tour set for March 12-19

 March 1, 2014

“American Echoes” is the theme of the Maryville College Concert Choir’s 2014 Spring Choir Tour, set for March 12-19. Performances are scheduled for churches and high schools in upper East Tennessee, Virginia, Delaware and Washington D.C.

“This year’s theme explores the musical echoes of the great American ‘melting pot’ and the resulting influence on choral music in our country,” said Stacey Wilner, coordinator of choral music at Maryville College.

The program will include classic sacred selections such as “The Last Words of David” by Randall Thompson and “Pilgrim’s Hymn” by Stephen Paulus; spirituals such as “I Know I Been Changed” arranged by Roy Belfield and “I Can Tell the World” by Moses Hogan; and folk influence as in “Shenandoah” arranged by James Erb and “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye” arranged by Alice Parker.

“As a melting pot, we must also include classic choral selections with European influences, such as ‘If Ye Love Me’ by Thomas Tallis and ‘Cantique’ by Gabriel Faure,” Wilner said.

“Off Kilter” is a small SATB a cappella ensemble that presents more recent music and arrangements by the King’s Singers. “Lads” is an all men’s group, and “Lassies” is an all ladies ensemble. During choir tour performances, these ensembles will explore the influence of jazz and blues, along with the more popular side of American music, with selections such as “Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong and “Chattanooga Choo-Choo,” made famous by the Andrew Sisters.

“In Greek mythology, Echo is a nymph who loved her own voice,” Wilner said. “America has been slowly developing its own voice, one that is rich in musical and cultural diversity.

“The many different strands that have been woven together to create a musical tapestry that we consider distinctly ‘American’ are actually conceived from many cultures of the world – from the African influence in spirituals, the French influence in color and timbre, to the British influence in folksong, our music has deep roots that connect us to the rest of the world. This year’s theme allows us to explore those influences and hear them in the music that we now consider our own.”

Tour Send-Off Scheduled for March 12

The traditional Choir Tour Send-Off is scheduled for Wed., March 12 at 12 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ William Baxter Lee III Grand Foyer. The choir will perform a mini-concert, which is open to the public. Also during the event, the choir will sell its CD, titled “A Celebration of Gratitude,” which includes recordings from the 2012 Scotland Choir Tour.

The choir’s annual Homecoming Concert is scheduled for Thurs., March 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre. The concert is free and open to the public.

Tour Itinerary

-       Thurs., Feb. 20, 7 p.m.: “Joy of Music” Invitational Choir Festival, Clayton Center for the Arts’ Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre

-       Wed., Feb. 26, 7 p.m.: First Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Tenn.

-       Wed., March 12, 12 p.m.: Choir Tour Send-Off Concert, Clayton Center for the Arts’ William Baxter Lee III Grand Foyer

-       Wed., March 12, 6:30 p.m.: First Presbyterian Church, 100 W. Church Circle, Kingsport, Tenn.

-       Thurs., March 13, 7 p.m.: Opequon Presbyterian Church, 217 Opequon Church Lane, Winchester, Va.

-       Fri, March 14, 7:30 p.m.: Limestone Presbyterian Church, 3201 Limestone Rd., Wilmington, Del.

-       Sat., March 15, 7 p.m.: Dinner with choir hosted by “MC in DC” alumni chapter, Georgetown University Medical Center (please email RSVP to maryvillecollegeindc@gmail.com, specific directions will be emailed to you)

-       Sun., March 16, 9:15 (early worship) & 11 a.m. (second worship): National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave., Washington, D.C. 

        1 p.m.: Lunch with choir at Firelake Grill (Please call 202-363-1330 to join MC Choir reservation)

-       Sun., March 16, 7 p.m.: Joint concert with the United States Army Chorus, Vienna Presbyterian Church, 124 Park St, NE, Vienna, Va.

-       Mon. March 17, 7 p.m.: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 250 Fox Hill Road, Hampton, Va.

-       Tues., March 18, 7 p.m.: First Presbyterian Church, 4602 Cary Street Road, Richmond, Va.

        8:30 p.m.: Alumni reception hosted by Melanie Kohn Day '75 (please email RSVP by March 12 to mkday@vcu.edu,   specific directions will be emailed to you)

-       Thurs., March 27, 7:30 p.m.: Concert Choir Homecoming Concert, Clayton Center for the Arts’ Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre

-       Sun., April 6, 11 a.m.: Morning service at New Providence Presbyterian Church, Maryville, Tenn.

For more information about this year’s choir tour, please contact Wilner at 865.981.8151 or stacey.wilner@maryvillecollege.edu. For information about alumni events during the tour, please contact Kathleen Farnham, director of church relations, at 865.981.8217 or kathleen.farnham@maryvillecollege.edu.

Keep up with the choir tour on Facebook!

Stay up-to-date on the latest news from the choir tour by "liking" these MC Facebook pages:

Friends of the Maryville College Concert Choir

Maryville College Concert Choir Alumni 

MC in DC Facebook group

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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 offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2014 semester was 1,213.