Contact: :  Dr. Will Andress, Centenary Choir, 318-869-5200, or
Ms. Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Centenary Choir Gets Russian Instruction from One of its Own in Preparation for Oct. 28-29 "Rhapsody in View" 

SHREVEPORT, LA -- A sophomore who speaks five languages and sings alto in the Centenary Choir will bring a bit of Russian authenticity to the Choir's Shreveport season opener Oct. 28 and 29.

Thanks to several weeks of Russian language instruction from Katica "Kate" Stojanova, a native of Macedonia, the Choir's 60 voices are prepared for the rigors of Russian pronunciations at they sing Rachmanioff's  "Bogoroditse devo" from Solemn Vespers.

"They picked up on it very well.  It was fun," said Stojanova, 20, a native of Gevgelia, Macedonia, who spent two high school years with adopted American families in The Woodlands, Texas, area before earning a choir scholarship at Centenary.  

Choir director Will Andress said the piece was one the Choir had been wanting to do in Russian for several years, and found just the help it needed in the form of one of its own members.  The Russian song, Andress said, is a setting of a Russian Orthodox version of an "Ave Maria."

It is included on a varied program of choral literature the Choir will perform during the identical pair of concerts that form its annual "Rhapsody in View" event.  The program includes sacred literature intermixed with secular songs, all accompanied by pianists and other instrumentalists.

The concerts are the traditional season opener for the globetrotting Centenary Choir.  They are co-sponsored by the Downtown Shreveport Lions Club and will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29 in the Shreveport Civic Theater.

Tickets, $6 each, are available from the Hurley School of Music, Southfield Music and Tapes on Youree Drive, the Expo Hall Box Office, the Music Office of First United Methodist Church, and members of the choir or the Downtown Lions Club.  For more information or tickets, call 318-429-6887.

The Centenary Choir is an auditioned ensemble, selected each year in late February before the new members graduate from high school.  Members come to the campus 10 days earlier than the other students for a choir camp at Hodges Gardens near Many, La.  This is reported to be the only summer camp for collegiate singers in the nation.  It is here that preparation is begun for the Choir's hometown opener, Rhapsody in View.

This is the 59th year of the Choir and the 52nd year of this concert series, traditions begin in 1941 by the founding director, Dr. A.C. "Cheesy" Voran.  The current director, Dr. Andress, is now in his 27th season.

The Choir has already given the upcoming concert in four Louisiana towns on weekend tour during the last weekend in September.  Dr. Andress refers to these as opening "Off Broadway," in preparation for Rhapsody in View.  By the time of the Shreveport event, the Choir will have also given two performances of opera choruses with the Shreveport Symphony.

On Oct. 28 and 29, the concert will include the following sacred literature:  Randall Stroope's "Lamentations of Jeremiah;" Jean Berger's "The Eyes of All Wait Upon Thee;" "Ride on King Jesus," the spiritual arranged by New Orleans musician Moses Hogan; Healy Willan's "O King All Glorious," the Wilhousky setting of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," and Palestrina's "Tenebrae factae sunt"
The secular portion of the program will include an arrangement of the American folk song "John Henry," Norman Dello Jolo's "Jubilant Song," an Irish folk song medley "A Lad and a Lass," "Oh My Luve's Like a Red, Red Rose" set by Rene Clausen, a medley of tunes from the Broadway musical Big River, a "Dixieland Jambouree," and a group of songs titled "An American Salute."

Performing what is called "the break" number will be the Choir's accompanists, Emily Pinnix of Shreveport and Jerry Don Killian of DeQueen, Ark.  Both are graduating seniors.

Other instrumentalists performing with the Choir will be Lauren Watson, violin; Julia Fraser, flute; Doug Bryson, harmonica; Sean Gilder, bass; Josh Melson, trumpet; Collin Taylor, saxophone; Zack Ingrim, trombone, and John Cowden, percussion.

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