Chorale to perform Bernstein at Spivey Hall

By Joel Hall


With the aid of a $5,000 grant from the Grassroots Arts Program (GAP), the Southern Crescent Chorale will present "Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and Other Psalm Settings" this weekend at Clayton State University's Spivey Hall. The concert -- the chorale's sixth annual performance at Spivey Hall -- will take place on Sunday, March 7 at 3 p.m.

According to Conductor Janice Folsom, the 70-member, volunteer chorus group will sing one of Leonard Bernstein's most popular pieces, along with other choral works with text taken from the Book of Psalms. Concert selections include Felix Mendelssohn's "Judge Me, O God," "The Lord is my Shepherd" by Randall Thompson, "O Clap Your Hands" by John Rutter, "How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place" from Johannes Brahms' "A German Requiem," and "Sicut Cervus" by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, she said.

"Chichester Psalms is one of his [Bernstein's] most popular works in the classical arena," Folsom said. "It is sung in Hebrew. It has lots of peppy sections to it. It is very strong and full choral singing. One of his best-known compositions was the music for [the musical] 'West Side Story.' If anyone is familiar with that, they will be able to pick up on that in the music.

"The Brahms piece is lovely, romantic singing," she added. "The Randall Thompson piece is very ethereal. You feel like you are floating to heaven. There's something for everybody [in the concert selections]."

Professional harpist, Dania McDonald Lane, percussionist, Courtney McDonald, organist, Rick Massengale, and pianist, Steve Shivers, will accompany the chorale for the performance. To add to the concert, Lane will perform "Arabesque No. 1" for solo harp by Claude Debussy and Massengale will perform Charles-Marie Widor's famous organ solo, "Toccata."

Tickets to the concert are $15 per person and $7.50 for students. For more information, call Spivey Hall at (678) 466-4200.