Centenary College Choir’s “Rhapsody in View” returns for 2021 performance

The 2020-2021 Centenary College Choir

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Centenary College Choir presents its beloved “Rhapsody in View” performance at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 16, at First Baptist Church in Shreveport. The concert, usually held in the fall in conjunction with Centenary’s Homecoming festivities, was rescheduled this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In accordance with state guidelines, seating is limited and masking and social distancing is required.

“Rhapsody in View will be only the second in-person performance for the Centenary Choir this year, after the recent Easter Sunrise Service,” said Dr. David Hobson, director of the Centenary College Choir. “For a group accustomed to a more robust performing schedule, this year has been an adjustment for all of us. But we are excited that this concert will finally be able to happen, and do to our part in supporting our College and community, as well as offering a final performance for our students. They have shouldered a significant burden this year, and we are excited to finally honor their patience and work.”

The theme of the 2021 “Rhapsody in View” performance is “Flight for Freedom,” drawn from themes of political and religious/theological freedom and an exploration of the concept of flight, both as an imperative to strive toward freedom and as a concept of freedom in and of itself.

The program includes patriotic works such as Lojeski’s An American Salute and Wilhousky’s stirring Battle Hymn of the Republic. Balancing these more overtly patriotic selections are arrangements of spirituals such as Let Me Fly and Ain’t that News, both of which characterize one’s journey toward both political freedom and overcoming slavery in the context of religious themes of faith. The Choir also offers more reflective moments with the King Singer’s arrangement of Blackbird and Roy Ringwald’s Precious Lord, Take My Hand, the latter inspired by the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Rhapsody in View” always offers a little something for everyone, and more light hearted pieces include a medley from the musical Big River, the humorous but poignant musical portrayal of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. Also included on the program is the rhythmically engaging Afro-Celtic Diddle and arrangements of How Can I Keep from Singing and Homeward Bound, as well as some traditional favorites of the Choir and, Hobson added, “…maybe even a surprise or two!”

“Rhapsody in View,” presented annually since 1949, is one of the most enduring arts experiences in the Shreveport-Bossier City area.

Tickets are required but this year are free for all audience members. Tickets can be obtained from Centenary College Choir members, at the Hurley School of Music at Centenary (318.869.5235), and at the First United Methodist Church Music Office (318.429.6887). Those interested in attending can also email music@centenary.edu for information about tickets.


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