Centenary College Choir celebrates 75th anniversary, plans special "Rhapsody in View"

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Centenary College Choir marks a momentous 75th anniversary this year with a full concert season, a European tour, and a nostalgia-filled performance of the annual “Rhapsody in View” concert during Centenary’s Homecoming weekend in late October. “Rhapsody in View,” presented by the Downtown Shreveport Lions Club, comes to Shreveport’s Riverview Theater on Saturday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 30 at 2:30 p.m.

“The Choir is a fascinating cultural experience – it’s like one big extended family,” says David Hobson, director of the Centenary College Choir. “Every day the students rehearse surrounded by pictures on the wall of the previous choirs, and many of our traditions help foster the historical connection they feel.”

This 68th annual Rhapsody in View is billed as a “grand reunion” concert, with hundreds of alumni members joining the current Choir in the second half of each performance. This year’s repertoire features Choir favorites from throughout its history, literally “Bach to Broadway” as the group’s trademark programming often states. 

“Our reunion concert cements these bonds as the students are literally immersed with so many alumni,” explains Hobson. “And it always comes back to the music – there’s nothing quite like standing shoulder to shoulder, one voice lost in another, that connects people so deeply. But the final piece of the puzzle is the audience, who are intimately part of the shared experience as well. I’m tremendously honored to be a part of this unique opportunity to bring people together, both celebrating and sustaining the Choir’s legacy.”

From stirring hymn arrangements to black gospel, English cathedral classics to a beloved medley of Les Miserables, and patriotic favorites such as Salute to the Armed Forces and Battle Hymn of the Republic, the stylistic variety will be engaging to audiences of all musical preferences.  As well as traditional selections, the Choir also is presenting a new work by alumnus James Eakin titled Twitterlieder, a suite of short pieces based on tweets that range from profound to downright hilarious.

Alumni will also be joining the Choir on an international tour to the United Kingdom in June 2017, continuing the Choir’s rich history of regional and international travel. Hailed early in its history as “America’s Singing Ambassadors,” the Choir has performed in 32 countries on six continents. The Choir was organized in 1941 by Dr. A.C. “Cheesy” Voran and since that time has embraced an innovative approach to collegiate choral music, engaging audiences through emotional, heart-felt music making.

Tickets for the 2016 “Rhapsody in View” performance are $15 in advance and $17 at the door. They can be purchased from Centenary College Choir members, Downtown Shreveport Lions Club members, at the Hurley School of Music at Centenary College, at all Porters Cleaners locations, or by phoning 318.429.6887.

Proceeds from the performance are split between the Centenary College Choir and the Lions Club, which uses its portion to help fund projects such as sight conservation, the Lions Eye Research Foundation, and the Louisiana Lions Camp near Leesville, Louisiana. For more information about the performance and the Lions Club, contact James M. Goins at 318.861.2197.

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