Symphony, chorale season winds down this weekend

By Trina Trice

The sounds of Broadway are echoing throughout Clayton and Henry counties this weekend.

The Southern Crescent Symphony and the Southern Crescent Chorale are presenting the spring concert "Give My Regards to Broadway" at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center and the Henry County Performing Arts Center Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

The performance is the last of the symphony's 2003 season, said Dr. Richard Bell, conductor and director of the Southern Crescent Symphony.

Like last year's spring concert "Around the World in 80 Minutes," "Give My Regards to Broadway" continues the symphony's tradition of putting on light-hearted concerts as the weather gets brighter and warmer.

This weekend's concerts will be special for Carmen Del Valle, a senior at Union Grove High School. The violinist is graduating from school and the symphony.

"It's going to be my last concert – I think we're going to do pretty well," Del Valle said. "People will enjoy it. It's different from other concerts."

What's different is the addition of the Southern Crescent Chorale, a 70 member chorale.

The orchestra's concert master Sonia Squires is excited about playing with an extended family of music performers.

"It's good to have both professionally led groups play together," Squires said.

The concert's theme is also inspiring to Squires.

"I love popular music," she said. "I love classical music, as well, but with popular music, we get to relax. Sometimes when we're playing the music, you get to think of the movies or shows" for which the music was written.

Both the orchestra and the chorus are combining their talents as they perform medleys from popular Broadway composers, such as Andrew Lloyd Webber and Rogers and Hammerstein.

"Many of the tunes will be recognizable, even to the average person, whether or not they know a lot about Broadway shows," Squires said.

The Southern Crescent Symphony is a 75-member community orchestra that includes professional musicians, music educators, amateur musicians and student musicians.

The Southern Crescent Chorale is a newly formed community chorus under the direction of Janice Folsom.