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Choral ensembles performance promotes peace

Georgia College’s choral ensembles, including University Chorus, Women’s Ensemble and Max Noah Singers, will perform April 12 at 7:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Milledgeville to present “Echoes of Peace, Visions of Hope.”

The theme of peace will be reiterated throughout the concert and is a subject very close to choral director Dr. Jennifer Flory’s heart.

“When the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings took place in December 2012, I felt very connected to the community of Newtown, Conn.; my aunt and uncle live there and my cousins went to school in the same district,” Flory said. “The theme of peace has been on my list of future concert ideas since I came to Georgia College; this event prompted me to bring it to fruition.”

Flory has been working with several composers for more than a year to compile and create the perfect repertoire for this concert. Four of the works being performed were written specifically for this concert and for the Georgia College choirs. These pieces have never been performed before.

Dr. David Johnson, assistant professor of music theory and composition at Georgia College, wrote “Sing Me at Dawn” for the Women’s Ensemble, and John Hennecken, Georgia College alumnus and adjunct professor, wrote “Motet”, which will premier with a performance by Max Noah Singers.

Georgia College creative writing major Bri Neves wrote text that was used in New Zealand composer David Hamilton’s piece, “Dona Nobis Pacem.” Hamilton also used text from poems written by Milledgeville’s Creekside Elementary School students to accompany his composition.

“I jumped at the chance at getting involved,” said Cindy English, 4th and 5th grade teacher at Creekside Elementary School. “My students love to do anything for the community, and they are very creative writers.”

Fifth grader Isaaiah Wilson, who is also a member of the Creekside Elementary chorus, is one student who contributed through writing a poem. Wilson said it made him “feel special” to be able to contribute to the writing of a song, and he even shared his views on what peace means to him.

“It just means working together, not fighting and everyone getting along,” Wilson said.

At the end of the concert, the Creekside Elementary Chorus and the Georgia College choral ensembles will perform Hamilton’s premiere together.

Admission is free and donations are encouraged to benefit music scholarships.

For more information about the performance, email jennifer.flory@gcsu.edu or call 478-445-4839 or visit choral.gcsu.edu.

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