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Contact: Kelsey Johnson, Centenary News Service, at 318-841-7265, or Will Andress, Director of Centenary College Choir, at 318-429-6887

See also Longtime Choir Director Will Andress Retiring

Centenary College Choir Celebrates its 65th Anniversary at Rhapsody in View Concerts Oct. 28 and 29

SHREVEPORT, LA – The Centenary College Choir’s annual Rhapsody in View concerts will take on an added dimension this year with the celebration of its 65th anniversary. Co-sponsored by the Downtown Shreveport Lions Club, the concerts will be held Saturday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 29 at 2:30 p.m. at Shreveport’s Riverview Theatre.

The 2006 Centenary College Choir

The 68-voice Choir will perform the first half of the program, with over 300 alumni joining to sing with them for the second half, one of the largest choirs to ever sing on the theatre’s stage.

Alumni in attendance represent the original 1941 Choir and each decade since, hailing from some 20 states, including those as far away as New York, California and Florida.

Accompanists from over the years will accompany the Choir on selections in the second half. These accompanists are Josh Melson of Toms River, N.J.; Jerry Don Killian of Laguna Niguel, Calif.; Emily Pinnix of Shreveport; Renee Sneed of Dallas, Texas; Cindy Holton Vance of Monroe, La.; Ginger White Collins of Birmingham, Ala.; Susan Patterson Comeaux of Crowley, La.; Becky Wroten Gerardy of Shreveport; Sand Lawn of Monroe, La.; Abby Terry Fletcher of Lake Charles, La.; and Linda Walters Byrd of Kissimmee, Fla.

While in Shreveport, Choir alumni will reconnect at cluster reunions Friday night, a group rehearsal Saturday morning, an open house that afternoon and a banquet after the Saturday evening concert. Also, as a vital part of the celebration, the alumni are starting a campaign called “Sustain the Legacy,” an effort to endow the Choir professorship and operations to insure the Choir’s longevity.

At Rhapsody, the Choir will perform a variety of American music—secular and sacred—including “Come Dwell in Solomon’s Walls” by Z. Randall Stroope, “Bill Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home,” a medley from Roger Miller’s Broadway classic Big River, Randall Thompson’s “Alleluia,” “When in Our Music God is Glorified” by James Glanville Eakin, a 1999 graduate, among other selections all accompanied by current students Amanda Bourgeois of Gonzales, La., and Daniel Ley of Bossier City.

The second half, with alumni and current students combined, will feature “I Was Glad” by Parry, Mendelssohn’s “Behold! God the Lord Passed By,” “Rhythm of Life” by Cy Coleman, “America the Beautiful” and “Be Not Afraid” by Taylor Davis, a 2004 graduate.

Rhapsody tradition calls for special performances during the break between the first and second half of the concert. Saturday night’s break will be led by soprano Anne Heath-Welch Schiller, Class of 1975, who will sing “Summertime” from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Schiller developed a career in Europe as a opera singer. Tenor Greg Warren, Class of 1998, and bass Sterling Allen, Class of 2004, will sing a duet from The Peral Fishers by Georges Bizet. Warren is currently studying opera with Placido Domingo in Washington, D.C., and Allen is finishing the graduate degree in voice at the University of Texas in Austin. Bass Virgilio Davis, Class of 2000, will finish out the set with “Shadrack,” a popular spiritual arranged by Robert MacGimsey. Davis is finishing a graduate degree and teaching in Beaumont, Texas.

During Sunday’s break, bass Cory Olson, a senior from Richardson, Texas, will sing “The Impossible Dream” from Man of Lamancha, followed by a piano duet, “The Italian Polka” by Rachmaninoff, played by Bourgeois and Ley.

Dr. Will K. Andress, who was a member of the Choir from 1956 to 1961 and is in his 33rd year as director of the Choir, will conduct the concert.

Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at Southfield Music and Tapes or any Porter’s Cleaners location, or through members of the Choir or Downtown Shreveport Lions Club.

For more information, contact Director of the Centenary College Choir and A.C. “Cheesy” Voran Endowed Choir Professor Dr. Will Andress at 318-429-6887.


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