New River Valley Community Chorus will bring ‘Tidings of Great Joy’ to the community this Sunday and Monday with its annual seasonal music concert. The free concert is open to the public.
The Sunday, Dec. 15, concert will be held at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Pulaski. Monday, Dec. 16, the chorus will perform at Central United Methodist Church in Radford at 7:30 p.m.
The chorus is directed by Lynn Loftus of Pulaski. Judith Lanum of Ironto and Alecia Stanley of Dublin accompany the group on piano and organ. Tye Kirkner will be the featured tenor soloist on Shakley’s “Wasn’t That A Mighty Day.”
This year’s concert will have a strong focus on a local hand bell choir that has played with the chorus in the past. “They will be doing an opening prelude – the famous Ukrainian ‘Carol of the Bells,’ and they will join us on the processional, an extended ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ for piano and organ, bells, and choir,” said Loftus. “They’re featured in ‘People Look East’ and in a small way in ‘Silver Bells.’”
Bells and practice space for the hand bell choir is provided by Memorial Baptist Church in Pulaski. Choir members, from various churches, include Mardia Long, Tye Kirkner, Cristen Mitchell, Peggy Beller, Mont Quesenberry, Elaine Gehrz, Phyllis Vice, Pam Kirkner, and Janet Jonas.
“The most touching piece is ‘A Cradle in Bethlehem,’” Loftus said, discussing some of her favorite selections from the upcoming concert. “It is so simple; it was sung by Nat King Cole many, many years ago. I searched and searched for a choral version and finally found it. Diane Blair will be playing flute.
“My all-time favorite is ‘Once in Royal David City,’ and we’re doing an all a cappella version of it,” she added. Her other favorites include “Snow,” a piece she described as having a perfect pairing of text and music, and “The Bells,” which is an adaptation of the Edgar Allan Poe poem by the same title.
Loftus noted that the audience is sure to get goose bumps upon hearing a piece from a Brahms requiem, “How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place.”
“Great music is amazing,” she said. “Great music makes you sing greatly.”
Singers interested in practicing and performing with New River Valley Community Chorus may call 980-4135 for information. Practice for the next concert will begin in January.