Who’s ready to sing? Commonwealth Chorale rehearsals coming

Published 12:44 am Sunday, January 21, 2024

Rehearsals for the Commonwealth Chorale spring concert season will begin Tuesday, Jan. 23, 7 p.m., at Farmville Presbyterian Church. “Songs of Reconciliation and Peace,” set for the weekend of April 19-21, offers a message of hope for the new year.

“We have a great program ahead featuring a variety of musical styles and composers,” Chorale Artistic Director Carol J. Henderson said. 

“The Peaceable Kingdom,” by Randall Thompson sets the tone for the program. 

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“In this selection the Chorale will sing of the hope for peace and harmony in God’s creation,” Henderson noted. 

Continuing with the words of the Prophet Isaiah, the program includes “The Dream Isaiah Saw” by Glenn L. Rudolph that speaks of the hope for worldwide peace.

“Other selections including “Goin’ Home” by Dvorák, “The Promise of Living” by Aaron Copeland, and “This Is My Song” by Sibelius, weave together a variety of textures to create a tapestry of reconciliation and peace,” Henderson added.

“Elijah Rock” and “Down by the Riverside” round out the program. With lyrics that speak of the courage to prevail, “How Can I Keep from Singing” (Quaker hymn c. 1800) adds a final note to the concert. 

Accompaniment will be provided by Susie Thomas, pianist, and Judy Amos, organist.

Henderson, the Chorales’ artistic director since 2019, received her bachelor of music and master of music degrees from Westminster Choir College. She currently serves as minister of music at Clarksville Presbyterian Church. 

“The Commonwealth Chorale is important to this community, and I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of it,” she commented.

History of the Commonwealth Chorale

The Commonwealth Chorale was established by Norma Williams in 1975. Before coming to Farmville to teach voice at Longwood College, Williams led an illustrious career as leading soprano in opera houses across Europe and managed the Lincoln Opera in Chicago. She retired as the Chorale’s artistic director in 2019.

The Chorale’s membership, representing all ages and musical backgrounds, includes singers from a many surrounding counties and towns. Local singers interested in joining the Chorale are encouraged to attend the Jan. 23 rehearsal; auditions are not required.

“Come sing with us, and you will become part of something beautiful,” Henderson added. Venues for the April concerts will be announced soon. Admission to all Chorale concerts is free, and the public is invited to attend.

For more information on the Commonwealth Chorale, click here. Further information and concert updates will also be posted on the Commonwealth Chorale of Virginia Facebook page.