November 18, 2010 — The annual holiday concert of the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus has long been considered a hallmark of the season. As part of the AGMC‟s 30th season, for three performances on Dec. 10-11 the men‟s chorus will be joined by the world-renowned Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde for a truly entertaining musical celebration for all ages.
As it has since the late 1990s, the AGMC holiday concert — this year titled “Holiday Lights” — will be presented in The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road NW in Atlanta‟s Buckhead community. The South‟s largest Episcopal cathedral, the church continues to be a perfect venue for this moving and joyous holiday celebration.
“The Cathedral itself must be considered one of the recurring „guest stars‟ of our December holiday concert,” said Kevin Robison, now in his fourth year as the AGMC‟s artistic director. “Its reverent beauty and ringing acoustics greatly add to the experience for both our audiences and the chorus itself. We feel extremely privileged to be invited back year after year.”
The concert will feature a number of special arrangements of familiar holiday songs, from lively renditions of “Ding, Dong, Merrily on High” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” to tunes from beloved television animated specials including “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
The selections will be balanced by a number of more classical selections, including Franz Biebl‟s two-chorus “Ave Maria,” for many years an AGMC holiday concert tradition. “Having the treble voices of the Young Singers as the song‟s antiphonal choir ringing through the Cathedral will add another level of appreciation to this hauntingly beautiful work,” Robison noted. “This arrangement for male chorus and treble choir is rarely heard and is a truly moving experience.”
The AGMC will also present the world premiere of “Ring Out, Wild Bells” by American composer David Conte. The energetic and jubilant piece was commissioned to commemorate the AGMC‟ 30th season and its continuing contributions to the community. Conte‟s piece “An Exhortation” was featured in President Barack Obama‟s inauguration in January 2009.
“We are so excited that Mr. Conte plans to be present for all three of our performances of his new work,” Robison reported.
Guest performing group the Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde is one of the country‟s longest-running children‟s choruses, recording, touring and winning competitions across the U.S. and abroad. Now in its 35th season, the respected AYSC has been led by only two musical directors — founding director Stephen J. Ortlip and, since 1998, Paige Fumbanks Mathis, a professional music conductor in her own right and a former AYS singer. The organization offers five choirs and serves approximately 200 children ages 8 to 18.
In addition to singing with the AGMC, the AYS will also perform its own set of songs in the Dec. 10-11 concerts.
Back for the third straight year is the free ice cream social following the 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, as well as group-friendly matinee prices that enable the entire family to attend.
“„Holiday Lights‟ brings together classic holiday music with traditional carols, lighter fare and the pure sounds of the Young Singers of Callanwolde to create an experience that truly has something for everyone,” the AGMC‟s Robison noted. “It will be both a look back at some of our favorite holiday music and a look forward with the premiere of our new commissioned work…a perfect combination to mark our three decades of entertainment and service.”
Subscribers to the AGMC‟s three-concert main season receive the best seats in their chosen section for each concert, along with discounts for later purchase of additional tickets. To purchase season subscriptions or holiday concert tickets today, call (404) 320-1030 or buy online through the AGMC web site.
Established in 1981 and today one of the world‟s longest-running all-male choruses, the Atlanta Gay Men‟s Chorus entertains, educates and connects audiences through music that is distinguished for its creativity, diversity and artistic excellence.
The chorus is a member of GALA, the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses, and Chorus America, a 1,600-member non-profit organization that foster the chorus music experience in the U.S.
The AGMC is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The GCA also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts. Corporate partners include Alston & Bird, Dan Lax Media, The Heretic-Atlanta, The Hope Clinic of the Emory University Vaccine Center, Integral HR, King and Spalding, Macy‟s, Metrotainment Cafes (Einstein‟s, Joe‟s on Juniper, Joe‟s on Madison, Cowtippers, Hudson Grille, and Metrotainment Bakery), Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC), and Radial Café.