Choral Arts of Chattanooga anticipates an exciting evening of choral music from masters like Brahms, Mozart and Beethoven, as well as the contemporary composer Ola Gjeilo, for their performance at 7:30 p.m. on March 3 at Second Presbyterian Church. “I think this is going to be a fantastic concert,” Darrin Hassevoort exclaimed after a recent rehearsal.
Hassevoort, who took the Choral Arts podium for the first time last fall, has programmed music based on a Lenten theme with an emphasis on the promise of light to come. Psalm 13 set by Brahms for women’s choir, for example, begins with the lament, “Lord, how long will you so completely forget me?” yet ends with the joyous phrase, “I want to sing to the Lord for he does such good things for me.”
Likewise, the Gjeilo set that will end the concert, “Dark Night of the Soul” and “Luminous Night of the Soul,” emphasizes the idea of moving from darkness into light. “We all go through dark times,” Hassevoort explains, “and this music shows that there is always a pathway, there is always light.”
Members of the choir are excited about this performance for a variety of reasons. Many look forward to singing with string quintet accompaniment. Symphony members Mark Reneau, Josh Holritz, Robert Elder, Eric Reed and Taylor Brown will perform throughout the concert, along with pianist and organist Jason Duroy.
Others appreciate the music Hassevoort has chosen. “It’s deeply moving music,” says mezzo-soprano Lonna Williams, long-time Choral Arts member, “especially meaningful as the season of Lent begins.”
Singer and president of the board Kim Thompson points out that the concert offers a wide variety of music. “It ranges from the Classical Period through to the 21st century, and features mixed chorus, women’s chorus and even an instrumental piece,” he says. For chamber music lovers, the instrumentalists will perform the second movement from César Franck’s Piano Quintet in F minor.
Concert goers will also have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the musicians after the performance. Those who donate $25 or more at the door are invited to a VIP reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres at the Walden Club immediately following the concert. Suggested donations of $15 are appreciated for the concert only, $10 for students.
The final Choral Arts concert of the season has been scheduled for May 19, tentatively featuring music of stage and screen.