12/02/10 — First Presbyterian to host concerts

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First Presbyterian to host concerts

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on December 2, 2010 1:46 PM

First Presbyterian Church will be the setting for two concerts in December.

The first will be Friday at 7 p.m. featuring a local chamber choir composed of Kristy Gross, Chris Martin, Dianne Finan, Querida Thompson, Lee Futrelle, Chris Garrison, Clifton Cuddington and Marshall Foster.

The choir will perform Christmas sacred choral music from the Renaissance era, explained Jeremy Thompson, director of music ministry at First Presbyterian. There will also be some music from the 20th century.

"It's a group of friends from various churches who got together and wanted to sing a repertoire for a small ensemble, like chamber music, especially from the Renaissance era," Thompson said. "It's considered the pinnacle of choral music, but it's not done much anymore.

Thompson said that with a smaller group of singers, it's a completely different experience of music making.

"A lot of music in that era was designed for people just to get together and sign together," he said. "There was no need to get together a huge 50-person choir. That type of music was designed to be done in smaller settings with a smaller group of people."

The chamber choir was formed in September, and this will be its first public performance.

The second concert will be Dec. 12 at 5 p.m.

It will feature the First Presbyterian Chancel Choir, accompanied by a seven-piece string section from the North Carolina Symphony.

The concert will include Saint-Saens' Christmas oratorio and Bach's Cantata #143: Unto Us A Child Is Born, both standards for Christmas.

"Saint-Saens is another great Christmas work for the choir," he said. "It's easily accessible and contains some special moments."

The choir has about 30 members, and the work requires five soloists.

"Both are opportunities to present the music we work on so hard to the community," Thompson said. "First Presbyterian's Chancel Choir has a tradition of presenting at least one concert a year for the community, and there's no better time to do that than at Christmas."

Both concerts are free.

For more information, call First Presbyterian Church at 734-5392.