Sacred Music Workshop and Festival
with guest clinician, Dr. John Ferguson
Featuring the Choirs of Centenary College and First United Methodist Church.
November 7-9, 2014
Centenary College and First United Methodist Church are collaborating once again to offer a weekend-long church music workshop and festival, culminating in a final Sunday, Nov. 9 worship experience led by sacred music sage, Dr. John Ferguson. Ferguson is recently retired from an acclaimed lengthy tenure at St. Olaf College, where he led the organ and church music programs to national prestige. Each year he prepares and leads many festivals across the country both for local congregations and professional gatherings. A Ferguson hymn festival is much more than an inspiring organ recital, according to Emily Brink, Past President of the Hymn Society, “He involves everyone present in a glorious community of sound. Everyone gets to perform.”
So, who is everyone? The core of the experience is certainly the First Methodist Chancel Choir, Centenary Camerata, and Centenary College Choir – all collaborating together to provide for an uplifting experience where worship touches the soul. However, guest choristers are also welcome to join the experience, which will also feature brass and percussion. Dr. Ferguson’s other achievements include an impressive array of sacred compositions and conducting accomplishments with the St. Olaf Cantorei. During the weekend-long clinic, church members, local church musicians, and the students of Centenary College will be blessed by his insights and the versatility of his gifts as composer, organist, conductor, and in worship design.
Centenary College Choir presents "Rhapsody in View"
October 25-26, 2014
Expect the unexpected. That’s what audiences experienced this year at Rhapsody in View. As one of Shreveport-Bossier’s longest cultural traditions, the program has long been known for an eclectic display of choral innovation by the Centenary College Choir, which itself has always been unique amongst college Choirs for its audience engaging, enormous range of repertoire. Quite simply, there is always something for everyone at any Centenary Choir concert. As director David Hobson states: “We’ve always been known for singing a little bit of everything. This year expands on the notion of what ‘everything’ is. It has some unusual elements as to movement, props, and styles, and yet I think it will be as engaging to the audience as any we’ve ever done. We’re excited to say the least.”
Rhapsody is the largest concert the Choir will give for its hometown, and the program is inspired by this year’s theme of “Out of This World,” which quite literally finds the Choir all over the map. Reflecting the music that comes out of this world are multi-cultural pieces such as Mack Wilberg’s Three Scottish Folksongs, Stephen Hatfield's rhythmic settings of the Hispanic Las Amarillas and spiritual Ain’t That News, and Brad Holmes’ arrangements of Shaker Dance and the African inspired Noel. Audiences enthused with the recent Norwegian exquisite choral music from Disney’s Frozen enjoyed a set of pieces from the movie.
The theme also ushers in music of the eternal and the cosmos with such selections as Dan Forrest’s arrangement of How Great Thou Art, Choir alumnus James Eakin’s We Are the Stars, and Ēriks Ešenvalds' Stars, a piece accompanied by tuned water glasses. Also included in the program is a robust men’s arrangement of Ghost Riders in the Sky. For those looking for a more traditional bent, the Choir will be performing the great chorus “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” (A Mighty Fortress is Our God) set in contrapuntal display by Johann Sebastian Bach. This piece foreshadows the Choir’s upcoming tour in May 2015 to Central Europe where they will be performing in Bach’s hometown of Leipzig in addition to other great musical cities such as Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg.
The Shreveport Downtown Lions Club has co-sponsored the event since its inception, and proceeds help support the organization’s projects such as sight conservation, Lions Eye Research Foundation, the Northwest Louisiana Lions Eye Bank, and the Lions Camp near Leesville, Louisiana.
Centenary College Choir Tours Dallas/Ft. Worth, San Antonio Oct. 2-5
The Centenary College Choir will tour Texas from October 2-5. The Choir has over 40 performances scheduled throughout Louisiana and Texas during the 2014-2015 academic year. The first tour of the year will take them from the DFW area to San Antonio, and back to Fairfield, Texas.
October 2: Prosper High School, Prosper, TX, 10:00am.
October 2: Irving High School, Irving, TX, 1:00pm.
October 3: Allen High School, Allen, TX, 11:30am.
October 3: First United Methodist Church Allen, Allen, TX. 7:00pm.
October 4: First United Methodist Church Boerne, Boerne, TX, 7:00pm.
October 5: Alamo Heights UMC, San Antonio, TX 8:30am, 9:30am and 11:00am worship services.
October 5: First United Methodist Church Fairfield, Fairfield, TX, 7:00pm.
The 2014-2015 program "Out of This World" takes the audience around the globe with cultural pieces such as Mack Wilberg's "Three Scottish Folksongs", Stephen Hatfield's rhythmic setting of the spiritual "Ain't That News" and Brad Holmes's arrangements of "Shaker Dance" and the African-inspired "Noel". Characterizing music of the eternal and the cosmos are selections such as Dan Forrest's arrangement of "How Great Thou Art", Choir alumnus James Eakin's "We Are the Stars" and Eriks Esenvalds "Stars", a piece accompanied by tuned water glasses. Audiences enthused over the exquisite Norwegian choral music from Disney's recent animated movie "Frozen" can look forward to a set of pieces from the film, and the Choir is even including a robust men's arrangement of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" in the program.
Centenary College Choir to present Easter program April 16 in Brown Chapel, April 20 at Hodges Gardens
The Centenary College Choir will offer two opportunities to experience their Easter program this year. Their first performance will be at Brown Chapel on Centenary's campus, Wednesday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. featuring alumnus Travis Orr as narrator and current member Elena Hibbs as Mary. On Sunday, April 20, at 6:00 a.m. the choir will present their traditional Easter Sunrise Service at Hodges Gardens State Park. Community and choir alumni chorus members will join the Centenary College Choir during this special performance.
The Choir's pilgrimage to Hodges Gardens for the Easter Sunrise Service is a tradition that dates back to the 1950s. The service, principally designed by the choir's founding director, Dr. A.C. "Cheesy" Voran, incorporates stirring Holy Week anthems and dramatic readings. The result is a uniquely moving performance of the Passion and Resurrection stories.
Hodges Gardens State Park has over 700 acres of wild and cultivated beauty. The park is located approximately 14 miles south of Many, LA.
Centenary Choir joins with Shreveport Symphony to present Mozart's Requiem Saturday, March 8 at Riverview Theatre, 7:30pm
On Saturday, March 8, the Centenary College Choir is proud to join with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and Northwestern Chamber Choir to present Mozart's "Requiem", one of the most celebrated of all choral works dealing with life and death. Then, the essence of life produces a different reflection in "To Notice Such Things", an elegant and poetic serenade by Jon Lord, from the rock band Deep Purple.
Centenary Choir Performs Benefit Concert for Cross Bayou Chapel & Conference Center
The Centenary College Choir performed a benefit concert on February 28, 2014 in the new Cross Bayou Chapel on the grounds of Camp Bethany south of Greenwood, LA continuing this year’s theme of “There and Back Again,” presenting a musical journey of creation. This concert is sponsored by and is intended to assist Cross Bayou Chapel and Conference Center, Inc. which has recently completed a beautiful chapel at Camp Bethany. The camp has been in existence since the 1980’s, but has never had a chapel among its facilities. In mid-2010, a vision was presented to the Cross Bayou Walk to Emmaus Community that would result in the building of this beautiful new chapel. Built to glorify God, the chapel is a gift from Cross Bayou Emmaus to Camp Bethany.
The Choir’s annual Choir Camp was located at Camp Bethany this past August, and all the rehearsals were conducted in the new Cross Bayou Chapel since the traditional Hodges Gardens location was not available.
The Cross Bayou Chapel was built with donations and pledges from Emmaus community members along with various fundraising efforts. The chapel cost $652,000 to construct, and interim financing was provided by Business First Bank which moved the loan to permanent financing this year. The local Emmaus community and supporters of the new chapel have paid all of that off except for about $50,000.00. The benefit concert was intended to assist Cross Bayou Chapel and Conference Center, Inc. to further reduce this indebtedness.