HomeMoorestown NewsFirst United Methodist plans choral music concert

First United Methodist plans choral music concert

Performers from Messiah University include choir and chamber singers

The Messiah University Concert Choir and Chamber Singers will present a choral music concert at First United Methodist Church in Moorestown at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13.

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The choir is the premier vocal ensemble that serves the university as an ambassador through national and international concert performances. It is under the direction of Dr. Joy Meade, director of choral activities at Messiah University, and is designed to provide each singer with a professional level vocal experience that will cultivate their personal musicianship and faith, among other lessons.

“I just hope we have a great turnout,” said Donna Danes, co-music leader at First United Methodist Church. “I know everybody here is very excited that they’re coming. This is the first time our current pastors – Rev. Dr. Gina Hendrickson and Associate Pastor Rev. Jessica Campbell – have experienced us doing anything like this.”

The choir’s 2024 tour – March 12 to 17 – will take the 48-member group to churches and high schools in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The tour will officially conclude on Sunday, March 24, when the choir presents its home campus concert at Parmer Hall, in the Calvin and Janet High Center for Worship and Performing Arts at Messiah University.

“It’s nice to showcase a college choir because it seems … the kids come through here in church and they participate in choirs, but a lot of them will be part of the high-school music programs, some of them will go on and be in college programs, but then it kind of fizzles from there, which is a shame,” Banes noted.

“Music is such a huge part of society, no matter what form it takes,” she added. “We’re really thrilled about it.”

The Concert Choir and Chamber Singers will perform a program called “I Love To Tell The Story.” The repertoire spans the centuries to share stories of faith, from Renaissance motets – short pieces of sacred music – to newly composed pieces by Messiah University faculty, arrangements of beloved spirituals and hymns, ancient prayer texts and musical reflections on current events.

Selections will include motets by Weelkes and Sweelink; portions of Bach’s “St. John Passion”; spiritual arrangements by Stacey V. Gibbs, Shawn Okpebholo and Alice Parker; new works by Jocelyn Jagen, Eric Barnum, Rene Clausen and Eric Nelson; and hymn arrangements.

Concert Choir performances are characterized by a diverse repertoire that spans the Renaissance to present day and encompasses sacred and secular works.

“I just love choral music, and I think what they’re going to bring to the table is going to be really, really cool,” Banes noted of the musicians. “It’s going to be such an experience that you don’t typically find of that size. It’s going to cover centuries of music and some of it will be hauntingly beautiful.

“You never know: It could be more towards a contemporary kind of feel, but all of it is just … going to be a phenomenal experience.”

For more information on the concert, visit www.fmcmoorestown.com.


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