Rich started writing for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as music critic for the symphony and opera seasons. Originally from Granite City, IL, he graduated from Simpson College with a degree in music education. In 1984 he received his MA in Music ...
Rich started writing for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin as music critic for the symphony and opera seasons. Originally from Granite City, IL, he graduated from Simpson College with a degree in music education. In 1984 he received his MA in Music Education from Truman State. Now retired, Rich enjoyed reading, writing music and short essays. He is the director of Kirksville Community Chorus.
MCKNOTES - CONCERT COMING
One week from today, on Monday, Dec. 10th at 7:30, Kirksville Community Chorus will present their fall/Christmas concert at the First Christian Church at the corner of High and Harrison Streets. No admission is charged for this concert. This chorus of about 55 singers will present a concert of really beautiful choral music that is sure to inspire all who attend.
I am the director of this chorus, so it’s near and dear to me. It represents most of what I do year round. The chorus has two concerts every year, usually the second Monday in December and the second Monday in May. For me, the end of one concert finds me already halfway into the next. I have to make sure that we have copies of all the music for our singers, which number between 50 and 60 singers. This is my ninth season as director of the chorus. The singers are people from the area who just like to sing. We gather every Monday night from September to December and then again from mid-January to mid-May. .
A sub-group of eleven women, called Grace Notes, will also perform at the concert. These ladies rehearse every Sunday afternoon in addition to the Monday evening rehearsals.
Our accompanist is the very classy and lovely Sara Beth Fouch. Sara lives in La Plata and is an amazing pianist and accompanist. It is here that I usually comment that not all piano players are capable accompanists. Sara Beth has so much talent, outdone only by her charm.
In addition, Dr. Jesse Krebs and his wife, Katherine will both be on hand to add magic to this concert. Jesse plays clarinet with a warm tone and flawless execution. He is also extremely gifted at improvisation. We don’t often get to feature his improvisational skills, but at this concert, he will add his interpretation to an arrangement of “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.” He will also accompany the moving advent tune “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” in a hauntingly lovely setting. Katherine Krebs will add her flautist talents to “I Wonder as I Wander,” an Appalachian Carol and “Still, Still, Still.” Two vocal soloists from the chorus will also enhance the performance.
On the classical side, the Chorus will sing Beethoven’s “Hallelujah” from “Mount of Olives,” “And the Glory of the Lord,” from Handel’s “Messiah,” and “May God Smile On You” from Bach’s “Wedding Cantata.”
At the time that I write this, my octogenarian aunt will drive from Lebanon, MO, to grace us with a couple of solos. In her part of the state, she is well known. She has an amazing ability to reach an audience. Auntie “Vee” is my only remaining aunt, and her participation depends greatly on the weather and her health, but with only one week to go, it’s looking pretty good that she will make it here.
Kirksville residents might be surprised at the number of people who come from considerable distance to hear these concerts, but we also have tremendous support from the community with a full house for nearly every concert.
The chorus and Grace Notes occasionally have additional performances. Grace Notes sang for a class reunion in September. The chorus and Grace Notes will sing at the Church of the Latter Day Saints at 2000 E Normal on Friday, Dec. 7th at 6:30 along with several other choirs and musical ensembles from the various church wards. That concert is organized by Thelma Zimmerman.
Obviously, I have not listed the entire repertoire for this concert, but there need to be some surprises, and isn’t that a good enough reason to attend?