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200 Musicians Take Center Stage

The University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra, Concert Choir and University Chorus presents an evening of majestic music for choir and orchestra on Thursday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center for the Arts. The concert includes works by Händel, Vaughan Williams, Debussy, and Bernstein.

The orchestra’s season finale makes a celebratory start, opening with Georg Friedrich Händel’s Zadok the Priest: The Coronation Anthem, which initially premiered on October 11, 1727, for the coronation of George II. With both choirs and orchestra on stage, Händel’s music will fill the Koger Center with excitement and jubilation, perfectly setting the tone for the pieces to follow.

Conducted by Dr. Jabarie Glass, Associate Director of Choral Studies, the USC Symphony Orchestra and Choirs next take the stage to perform English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Five Mystical Songs. Composed between 1906 and 1911 for baritone, choir and orchestra, this work features Baltimore based soloist Edmund Milly. An internationally recognized bass-baritone, Milly appears on several grammy-nominated albums and has shared the stage with Madonna at the Met Gala and 50 Cent at Radio City Music Hall.

Dr. Scott Weiss, the Director of Orchestras and Sarah Bolick Smith Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of South Carolina, takes the podium next for a work by one of Vaughan William’s compositional inspirations, Claude Debussy. Nocturnes, composed between 1892 and 1899, is based on a set of paintings by American artist James McNeill Whistler.

Led by Dr. Alicia Walker, the ​​Director of Choral Studies at the University of South Carolina, the last work of the USC Symphony Orchestra’s 2021-22 season is Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Featuring boy soprano Allen Shea, a seventh-grader at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, this work is a beautiful, jazzy and colorful setting of several psalms from the Old Testament in their original Hebrew. The work’s namesake is the Chichester Cathedral in Sussex, England, whose dean commissioned the work for the church’s 1965 music festival. Bernstein was asked to set a psalm or two to music with “a hint of West Side Story about the music,” to which Bernstein responded by including music that he originally cut from the Prologue to West Side Story.

The University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra will announce the 2022-23 season at this concert and begin the sale of season tickets. Several suggestions for works in the upcoming season were taken directly from the orchestra members. Click here to join our email list so you can be notified of the Symphony’s season announcement as soon as it happens. 

Join us for the USC Symphony Orchestra Coronation and Celebration: Masterpieces for Choir and Orchestra on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. in Koger Center for the Arts. Tickets for the performance are available at the Koger Center for the Arts Box Office (803) 251-2222 or here

Topics: University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra, Concert Choir and The Choirs of Carolina

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