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Singing ambassadors' to close Spivey Hall season

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

Clayton State University's Spivey Hall will wrap up its 2008/2009 season with performances by the Spivey Hall Children's Choir this weekend.

One-hundred and seventy young people, between the ages of 10 and 18, from 15 counties, make up the choir, according to Sam Dixon, executive and artistic director for Spivey Hall.

"I'm immensely proud of the children's choir program. It's one of the ways in which we engage the community," said Dixon. The choir will perform at 7 p.m., tonight.

The event will also include a separate performance by the Spivey Hall Young Artists, a beginning group of singers, typically ages 10 to 12, according to Dixon. The group was "established as a sort of preparatory program for the children's choir," he said.

In addition, the Spivey Hall Tour Choir will hold performances on Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m. Advanced members of the children's choir make up the tour choir, Dixon said. During the weekend concert, the group will sing highlighted selections to be performed on their annual summer concert tour.

"The tour choir is going to China - to Shanghai and Beijing - and will be on Chinese television this summer," said Dixon.

"They're sort of the singing ambassadors for Clayton State University and for the Southern Crescent," he said.

Dixon said the group has sung in Austria and the Czech Republic, the Crystal Cathedral in California, and the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

"So, they really get around," he said.

"Dr. Martha Shaw is the artistic director of the entire program, and she has built the children's choir into something of tremendous respect in the choral world," said Dixon.

The Spivey Hall Children's Choir will hold auditions for next season on June 8, according to Dixon. For audition information, contact Carol Abarr at (770) 946-9072.

Tickets for this weekend's performances cost $20. For tickets and more information, call the Spivey Hall Box Office at (678) 466-4200 or visit www.spiveyhall.org.