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Singing in the spring: Chamber singers perform Sunday

WORTHINGTON -- After about a three-year hiatus, the Worthington Chamber Singers will be back in action at 2 p.m. Sunday when they offer a spring concert, "Songs and Hymns of Faith," at First United Methodist Church.

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Chamber Singers rehearse Tuesday at Minnesota West. Tim Middagh/Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON - After about a three-year hiatus, the Worthington Chamber Singers will be back in action at 2 p.m. Sunday when they offer a spring concert, “Songs and Hymns of Faith,” at First United Methodist Church.

“Our last concert was a few Decembers ago because I was on sabbatical for a year,” said Eric Parrish, conductor of the select ensemble since 2009.
Other scheduling conflicts, mostly related to Parrish’s numerous commitments to various local and regional musical theater projects, also contributed to the break.

“I really missed making music with them,” said Parrish, instructor of music and theater at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Worthington.
“This group can do things with choral music that allow us a variety of options.”
Parrish has assembled an 18-voice ensemble of capable singers - some veterans of the Chamber Singers group, others youthful and brand-new to the chorus - for Sunday’s show, which will feature 12 selections of 16th- to 21st-century Christian songs.
“Traditionally, the Chamber Singers have presented an Advent season concert, with a few spring recitals thrown in over the years, but this gives us a chance to program pieces that don’t revolve around Christmas,” explained Parrish.
“It’s nice to have an opportunity to sing other spiritual music that’s not tied to just one time of year, and when we decided to prepare for this concert, several of the returning members really wanted to sing F. Melius Christiansen’s ‘Beautiful Savior,’ so we built around that.”
Other numbers Parrish has included are a couple of spirituals (“Witness” and “Down by the Riverside”), “On Eagle’s Wings” sung in Spanish and a Mozart composition for which the Great Plains String Quartet will offer accompaniment.
“The Great Plains String Quartet will also be our intermission entertainment,” said Parrish.
“I anticipate the entire concert will last about an hour.”
Additionally, pianist Kurt Haag (a 2015 graduate of Concordia College, Moorhead, who is in his first year as a math teacher at Worthington High School) will share prelude music and assist as the concert’s choral accompanist.
“We have at least five fairly young people, including three current Minnesota West students, who are performing with us,” mentioned Parrish.
Parrish expects the Worthington Chamber Singers will prepare an Advent season concert for next December; rehearsal time for this April performance was “a little truncated,” Parrish reported, “but the outcome will be enjoyable.
“A wide variety of styles and musical literature will be heard at this concert, and I’m stretching the group to sing a slightly different repertoire,” said Parrish.
But Parrish’s singers were up to the challenge, and he’s pleased with their efforts, noting Sunday’s program includes some pieces he fondly remembers from his days as an undergraduate bass in the choir at Gustavus Adolphus College.
“I’m a choir nerd at heart,” he smiled, “but this covers a whole spectrum of musical literature that everyone attending should enjoy.”

The Worthington Chamber Singers, along with the Great Plains String Quartet, will perform “Songs and Hymns of Faith” at 2 p.m. Sunday at First United Methodist Church, 408 11th St. A free-will offering will be taken, with proceeds after expenses going to local food shelves.

Related Topics: MUSIC
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