Choral Arts of Chattanooga Season Finale

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

Choral Arts of Chattanooga describes their upcoming concert:

A New Look, A New Sound

Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 7:30 pm

Center for Creative Arts

Experience an exciting range of choral music, as Choral Arts performs a variety of selections across centuries and genres, from medieval days to Broadway themes.

This Spring Choral Arts performance features pieces by composers William Billings, Phillip Hayden, Vincent Persichetti, William Hawley, Ricky Ian Gordon and George Gershwin.

The Dave Walters Trio will accompany the chorus on the Gershwin pieces.

Following is an excerpt from an article published in 1895 in the New England Magazine  about Colonial American composer, William Billings:

“It was about 1770 that the Billings craze began. William Billings was a remarkable man in many re-spects; and the peculiar fever of which he was the cause was largely due to his strong personality. He stands in our musical history as he first self-taught native composer. A collection published at Philadelphia in 1761, entitled Urania, had furnished him with models for composition, and working from these he prepared a host of fugueing tunes, which through their very freshness, quickly commanded attention. Church music had acquired a dolefulness due to the slow pace that had become the fashion. Billings commanded liveliness, and his fugues favored greater animation than had seemed proper for the plain harmonies and steady rhythms of the older tunes. The head of the new school, a tanner by trade, was somewhat deformed with legs of different lengths, a slightly withered arm and a blind eye. He had a voice of tremendous power and a manner that brooked no opposition. There was no one to criticize his tunes or to controvert his theories, some of which were really shrewd and sound; and so long as he lived, which was until the century had nearly expired, he had hosts of followers.”

Choral Arts Artistic Director, Keith Scott Reas believes that performing the works of contemporary composers is important.    After all, both Mozart and Beethovan had their works performed during their lifetimes.     Reas grew up with fellow musician and composer, Phillip Hayden and Hayden will be in attendance as Choral Arts of Chattanooga performs his compositions of two Shakespeare Songs.

Listen to the story with Director, Keith Scott Reas:

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