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Oratorio Choir Set to Perform ‘Spiritual Songs’ on Nov. 2

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


The Bridgewater College Oratorio Choir will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, in the Concert Hall in the Carter Center for Worship and Music at Bridgewater College.

The performance is under the direction of Prof. Curtis Nolley, visiting director of choral music at Bridgewater College.

The 63-voice Oratorio Choir includes Bridgewater’s Concert Choir, faculty, alumni and friends. Music instructor Lacey Johnson will accompany on the piano.

The concert, entitled “Spiritual Songs,” will feature Alice Parker’s Melodious Accord, a setting of selections from the Harmonia Sacra, scored for brass ensemble and harp. The Harmonia Sacra by Joseph Funk, who lived in Singers Glen, Va., is one of the earliest examples of singing school hymnals printed in the United States.

The second half of the concert will feature African American spiritual arrangements. Dr. Stephen Longenecker, the Edwin L. Turner Distinguished Professor of History, will provide connecting comments regarding these two distinctly American “Spiritual Songs.”

Bridgewater College students serving as soloists for the performance include Solomon A. Barnes, a sophomore music major, from Columbia, Md.; Morgan F. Crespo, a senior biochemistry major, from Hagerstown, Md.; Danielle R. Cunningham, a junior music major, from Bristow, Va.; Christopher A. DeFreeuw, a senior music major, from Suffolk, Va.; Jeffrey G. Lake, a senior computer science major, from Sykesville, Md.; and Teresa I. Mejia, a junior music major, from Front Royal, Va.

Dr. Christine Carrillo, associate professor of music at Bridgewater College; Corey M. Gloyd, a sophomore music major, from Winchester, Va.; and two BC alumni, Kyle Remnant and Jon Wilson, along with harpist Jaclyn Wappell, will provide the brass and harp accompaniment.

Nolley, a Bridgewater College alumnus, returns to his alma mater following a 41-year career as a public school choral director and music specialist in the Shenandoah Valley. In addition to his responsibilities at Bridgewater College, he is in his 19th season as artistic director of the Shenandoah Valley Choral Society and serves as choir director and music coordinator at the Bridgewater Church of the Brethren.

The concert is free and open to the public.

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