College Notes:

Harpist to accompany MC Concert Choir during concert
The Maryville College Concert Choir will present Benjamin Britten’s "A Ceremony of Carols" during the choir’s annual winter concert, scheduled for 8 p.m., Dec. 1, in the Music Hall of the Fine Arts Center. Accomplished harpist and teacher Abigail Crouch will accompany the 50-member choir. Crouch currently serves as the executive affiliate teacher of The Harp School, Inc. located in Indianapolis, Ind.

Britten composed "A Ceremony of Carols" in 1942 during an ocean voyage from Britain to America on a cargo ship called the Axel Johnson. One inspiration for the piece was a book of medieval poetry Britten picked up during a stop in Nova Scotia.

According to Stacey Wilner, coordinator of choral music at the college, the themes of the piece illustrate the mysterious aspects of the birth of Christ. Britten paints vivid musical pictures throughout this composition by using musical concepts to create feelings and images. The nativity scene is featured as a freezing winter night, and the music contains dissonance to convey this sensation. This reinforces the medieval British interpretation of the event, rather than relying on a more traditional version.

Wilner selected the piece because of the tradition of performance in British churches and cathedrals.

"The acoustics in the Music Hall are perfect for evoking a similar atmosphere as intended by the composer. This is a wonderful piece of music for a smaller, acoustically live space," she said. "We hope that through the use of the ancient texts, modal harmonies and the simple expression of the harp, that the audience will be transported back in time to medieval England. Perhaps they may even be able to obtain some insight into what early European Christianity might have been like."

In keeping with the Presbyterian heritage of the college, the vocal ensemble Off Kilter will sing traditional Scottish Christmas carols during the second half of the program. The Concert Choir will end the evening with the traditional Christmas selections "Carol of the Drum" and "Still, Still, Still."

The Concert Choir is an auditioned ensemble comprised of music majors and non-majors from Maryville College. Off Kilter is an auditioned group of eight to 12 upper classmen members.

The Dec. 1 concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Wilner at 865-981-8151 or stacey.wilner@maryvillecollege.edu.

Crouch and the college’s Concert Choir will combine forces with the Chancel Choir of Second Presbyterian Church in Knoxville to offer a second performance of "A Ceremony of Carols" at 11 a.m., Dec. 10, at the church, which is located at 2829 Kingston Pike. For more information about this concert, please contact Randy Dill at 865-523-2189.

MC students and faculty concert at First Baptist
The First Baptist Church of Maryville will be hosting a concert offered by students and faculty from Maryville College at 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 1, in room 210/213 at the Family Life Center at the First Baptist Church on W. Lamar Alexander Parkway. The concert is open to public, and admission is free.

Program:

  • Purcell - I Attempt from Love’s Sickness
  • Mozart - Third movement from Piano Concerto No. 14 in Eb, K. 449
    First Movement from Piano Sonata in F, K. 332
  • Mendelssohn - Duetto, Op. 38, no. 6, from Songs Without Words
  • Schumann - Selections from Davidsbndlertnze, Op. 6
  • Gershwin - I Got Rhythm
  • Clare Grundman: - Conversation for Cornet

MC Youth Chorale and Off Kilter to present ‘Holiday Favorites’ concert
The Maryville College Youth Chorale and Off Kilter, a small vocal ensemble of the MC Concert Choir, will present the concert "Holiday Favorites" at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 12, at the Chilhowee Club located at 223 Clarion Avenue in Maryville.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Liz Britt and student assistants Atlean Johnson and William Sconiers will direct the 18-voice chorale in performing such favorites as "Do You Hear What I Hear?" "S’vivon," "Sing We Now of Christmas" and "The Frosty Handjive."

In keeping with the Presbyterian heritage of the college, Off Kilter will sing traditional Scottish Christmas carols during the second half of the program. Selections will include "Rorate," "Baloo Lammy" and "Auld Lang Syne."

Spring auditions announced

Britt is looking to add approximately 15 new members, ranging in age from 9 to 14 years old, to the group.

Spring semester auditions for the Youth Chorale will be held from 2 until 4 p.m., Jan. 7, in the Maryville College Fine Arts Center Music Hall, with regular rehearsals beginning at 5 p.m., Jan. 19. For more information or to schedule an audition, please contact Liz Britt at liz_britt@webbschool.org or 865-977-1426.

Orchestra and Chorus join for Dec. 4 holiday concert
The Orchestra at Maryville College and the Maryville College-Community Chorus will join to present John Rutter’s "Gloria" and "The Many Moods of Christmas - Suite 3," arranged by Robert Shaw and Robert Russell Bennett, at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 4, in Wilson Chapel.

As in years past, admission to the concert is free with a toy donation to the local Toys for Tots campaign.

Orchestra conductor Bill Robinson will serve as maestro for the combined ensembles. Stacey Wilner, the college’s coordinator of choral music, is director for the Community Chorus, and Laura Atkinson is the assistant director.

Rutter, a British composer, wrote "Gloria" in 1970 for an American choir to perform. He intended the piece be appropriate for both a concert hall and cathedral setting. Impressed by the ability of American brass players, Rutter used brass instrumentation instead of traditional harp to herald the presence of angels.

"The Many Moods of Christmas - Suite 3," is taken from a four-part suite of Christmas carols made famous by performances of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the direction of legendary conductor Robert Shaw. Suite 3 includes favorites such as "What Child Is This?" "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," "Bring A Torch, Jeannette, Isabella" and "Angels We Have Heard On High."

The Orchestra will also perform "L’Arlesienne, Suite No. 1" by Georges Bizet and Frederick Delius’ ever-popular holiday favorite, "Sleigh Ride."

Concert-goers arriving early to the chapel will be treated to a performance of "The Southerly Winds" from the Orchestra’s woodwind quintet, establishing a festive atmosphere right away. The quintet, which will perform in the lobby, features Karen McLeod on flute, Marina Jaffe on oboe, Jan Jenkins on clarinet, Marley Forbes on bassoon, and Marcay Dickens on horn.

The Junior Service League of Maryville will be collecting toys for the local Toys for Tots organization. Admission to the concert is free with a toy donation.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults; $7.50 for seniors 60 and up; free to students 18 and under; free to all Maryville College faculty, staff, and students with ID.

For more information, please contact Genevieve Michael, general manager of the Orchestra, at 865-273-8871 or genevieve.michael@maryvillecollege.edu.

MC’s Jazz Band performs fall concert Dec. 5
Maryville College’s Jazz Band will present its fall concert at 7 p.m., Dec. 5, in the Music Hall of the Fine Arts Center on the college campus.

The event is free and open to the public.

The program will include performances of "Contemplation" by McCoy Tyner, "Chameleon" by Herbie Hancock, "Tequila" by Chuck Rio, "Take the ‘A’ Train" by Duke Ellington, "Straight, No Chaser" and "Blue Monk," both by Thelonious Monk, "Summertime" by George Gershwin, "The Christmas Song" by Mel Torme and the Maryville College Alma Mater.

Jazz band members include Kelly Cameron, piano; Aaron Schmissrauter, bass; Eric Matthews, baritone horn; Mark Strejc, trombone; Britton Knight, alto saxophone; Noah Penland, trumpet; Ryan Nivens, trumpet; and Jana Dodson, guest vocalist.
For more information on the concert or the jazz band, contact Dr. Bill Swann, associate professor of music and jazz band director, at 865-981-8159 or bill.swann@maryvillecollege.edu.

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