Centenary Choir Offers Easter Sunrise Program April 5
Centenary College is teaming with the local district of the United Methodist Church to offer a special Easter Sunrise Service 6:00am on Sunday, April 5 in the Hargrove Memorial Amphitheatre on the Centenary campus. The program, principally designed by Centenary 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.
Participants of the service include the Centenary College Choir and Alumni, local church choir members, college staff and faculty, and friends, all under the direction of Dr. David Hobson, current Centenary Choir Director, as well as Director of Music Ministries at First United Methodist Church of Shreveport.
"The service has a long tradition dating back to the 1950s, principally held at Hodges Gardens. We are proud to begin the tradition anew here on campus, in our hometown," says Dr. Hobson. "Truthfully, it's one of the most meaningful events we offer, embraced by both singer and congregant alike. My students particularly are very attached to the music of the service, which of course augments and reflects on the central story of the Christian faith."
Centenary Choir joins FUMC Chancel Choir for Texas Street Arts Series "An Eclectic Requiem" Sunday, March 8, 3:00pm-FUMC Sanctuary
The famed "3 B's" - three of the most influential composers ever, Masters Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, will be brought together in a most unique fashion! In keeping with the treasured lineage of great masterworks that poignantly deal with death and eternal life, culling their prestigious repertoire yields some poignant examples.
Bach's "Actus Tragicus," a cantata whose nickname hints at its funeral origins, shows Bach's incredible sense of drama, portraying the journey of the human soul, both before and after death. Beethoven never wrote a Requiem mass, but did wrestle with similar themes in isolated movements of other works. In his monumental "Missa Solemnis," written at the same time as his celebrated 9th Symphony, the "Agnus Dei" movement explores Beethoven's persistent prayers for peace in a time of war and death. And Brahms, of course, did write a Requiem Mass, nicknamed "Requiem for the Living" because of its emphasis on those who are left to mourn.
Each choir will be highlighted individually, including soloists, as well as in combination for the Brahms; also featured is a full professional orchestra.
Centenary Choir and Camerata to host annual High School Choral Festival February 13-14
Centenary College's Hurley School of Music will host four Shreveport/Bossier area high school choirs for the annual High School Choral Festival and Concert Feb. 13-14. The final concert in Brown Chapel will take place Saturday, Feb. 14 at 4:00pm (a time change from previous publicity). The Festival affords local students the opportunity to get a good look at Centenary's music program and outstanding music faculty. Students also the opportunity receive a private vocal coaching session at no charge by Dr. Gale Odom, Dean of the Hurley School of Music. The concert will feature 2-3 selections from each choir, as well as selections by the Centenary Choir and Camerata. All singers will combine to perform women's, men's, and mixed selections by Vaughan Williams, Biebl, and Foster. The 4:00 Saturday concert in Brown Chapel is free and open to the public.
Centenary Choir to perform Cross Bayou Chapel benefit concert January 19
The Centenary College Choir will perform a benefit concert in the new Cross Bayou Chapel on the grounds of Camp Bethany, south of Greenwood, LA on January 19. This concert is sponsored by Cross Bayou Chapel and Conference Center, Inc., which recently completed construction of a chapel at Camp Bethany. The camp has been in existence since the 1980s, but has never had a chapel among its facilities. Charlie Park, vice president of Cross Bayou Chapel and Conference Center, reports that more than $650,000 has been raised from donations and pledges from Emmaus community members and various fundraising efforts and gifts over the last four years to build the chapel, and the Chapel is close to being paid for. This will be the second benefit concert the Choir has performed for the Chapel.
Centenary Choir Continues Holiday Music Tradition
The Centenary College Choir will present its Christmas music series in December, continuing a holiday tradition that has delighted the Shreveport-Bossier community for generations. The lineup includes both sacred and secular music and its diversity reflects the Choir’s unifying season theme, “Out of This World.”
“The Choir’s Christmas program seeks to lift holiday spirits with treasured favorites of the season, coupled with the profoundly sacred story of Christmas,” said Dr. David Hobson, A.C. “Cheesy” Voran Choir Director. “As with any Centenary College Choir program, the audience experiences a wide variety of music that everyone can enjoy.”
This year’s program features favorites such as White Christmas, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and The Twelve Days of Christmas, as well as its irreverent counterpart, The Twelve Days After Christmas. The Choir will also present settings of Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming with cello, Brad Holmes’ robust Noel in African processional style, Paul Manz’s poignant E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come, and a Norwegian folk version of Fairest Lord Jesus.
The Choir’s invited holiday appearances include the Shreveport Downtown Rotary Club’s annual Christmas program on Tuesday, December 2nd and a reception and performance for residents and families at the Oaks of Louisiana on Thursday, December 4th.
On Friday, December 5th at 6pm, the Choir will participate in a program of exclusively sacred music at Centenary’s annual Christmas Candlelight Service, a celebration of the beginning of Advent. The Choir collaborates with Centenary’s Camerata choral ensemble, the I-49 Brass group, College organist Dr. Hollice Watson, and many other students and local community members to organize this beloved campus tradition at Centenary’s Brown Chapel. The entire Shreveport-Bossier community is encouraged to attend this free holiday event.
“The Christmas Candlelight Service at Brown Chapel has become my favorite service,” said senior Addie Barron. “Music is a driving force in the service, with the most memorable moment coming when we surround the congregation and sing ‘Silent Night’ by candlelight. This is an opportunity for the Shreveport community to gather and reflect on the season while also providing a meaningful and reverent worship experience.”
Centenary Choir presents annual KTBS Christmas Program
Local audiences will have several chances to enjoy the Choir’s annual Christmas Concert, sponsored by the Willis-Knighton Health System and televised on KTBS Channel 3. This year’s program was filmed at Centenary’s Anderson Auditorium and will air in rotation on Channel 3.3, the KTBS digital news channel, from 6pm on Wednesday, December 24th through 9pm on Thursday, December 25th.
The program can also be seen on KTBS Channel 3 at the following times:
Sunday, December 21st – 5:30pm and Wednesday, December 24th – 10:35pm.
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.