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Early Spring Concert 2022
Sunday, March 20 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
In 2019 the Hickory Choral Society joined 17 other choirs from around the country to commission a new choral piece from Norwegian-American composer Ola Gjeilo. The result, “Roots,” is a folk music-like setting of a new text by Charles Anthony Silvestry. The lyrics, including lines such as “where love is strong and roots grow deep,” “far have I traveled from my former home,” and “reminding me where I belonged” inspired the programming for our March 20 Early Spring Concert. The concert will highlight the theme of “home” with special emphasis on local music education and composers.
This concert will also highlight the music of two hometown composers and former music educators. J. Jerome (Jim) Williams and James Gossler amassed a combined 57 years teaching music at East Burke and Freedom High Schools, respectively. Their compositions have been sung by choirs throughout the state and country. Renee Shatley, a former student of Jim Williams, will conduct “Ye People of God,” and “Sing Hallelujah.” James Gossler and Dr. Ryan Luhrs share ties to Florida State and Lenoir-Rhyne Universities, and Dr. Luhrs will have the privilege of conducting his settings of “Auld Lang Syne” and “A Gaelic Goodnight.”
The concert’s music and texts will also explore the theme of “home” from multiple angles. The program will open with Z. Randall Stroope’s setting of “Homeland” and then explore home as a place of restoration and belonging through Stephen Paulus’s “The Road Home” and Gjeilo’s “Roots.” The next set will feature Moses Hogan’s arrangement of “We Shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace,” Gabriel Faure’s “In Paradisum,” and a new setting of “Bound for the Promised Land” by Greenville, SC composer Shelton Ridge Love, as the choir considers heaven as home.
Prior to the Gossler/Williams final set, the choir will examine home as a place of love and peace through William Billings’s “I am the Rose of Sharon,” Dan Forrest’s “Shalom,” and Daniel Gawthrop’s “Sing Me to Heaven.” It’s my hope that the overall program has a little bit of something for everybody as we celebrate our hometown music educators and composers. I invite you to join us Sunday, March 20, 3 PM at Corinth Reformed Church.
Artistic Director Dr. Ryan Luhrs will share the podium with four HCS singers who are also music educators, including Justin Johnson (South Caldwell High School), Jessica Cockroft; (Hickory High School), Grant Logan (St. Stephen’s High School), and Renee Shatley (Lenoir-Rhyne University and, formerly, Draughn High School, East Burke High School).