Masterworks Choral to perform festival of lessons, carols

  • Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012 8:57 p.m.
    UPDATED: Friday, November 30, 2012 8:04 a.m.
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner
Dr. Joel Scraper, the concert’s conductor and USC Aiken music professor, warms the Masterworks Chorale members at its “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” rehearsal. Pictured, front row from left, are Traci Nelson, Anna Hamilton, Carol Hidlay, Jean Arnold, James Heffner, Barry Stevens, Daniel Burkett, Tom Dick, Phoebe Marshall, Carolyn Heffner and Diane Traub; back row from left, are Mary Ann Scraper, Patty Walker, Lorraine Ray, Doris Hoffman, Richard Herold, Tim de Troye, Don Dupee, Michael Clark, Tony Street, Don Blount, Richard Thomason, Carol Amendola, Emily Fitzgibbon-Dick, Jane Wright and Liz Blount. Choral member Donna Walker is not pictured.
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner Dr. Joel Scraper, the concert’s conductor and USC Aiken music professor, warms the Masterworks Chorale members at its “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” rehearsal. Pictured, front row from left, are Traci Nelson, Anna Hamilton, Carol Hidlay, Jean Arnold, James Heffner, Barry Stevens, Daniel Burkett, Tom Dick, Phoebe Marshall, Carolyn Heffner and Diane Traub; back row from left, are Mary Ann Scraper, Patty Walker, Lorraine Ray, Doris Hoffman, Richard Herold, Tim de Troye, Don Dupee, Michael Clark, Tony Street, Don Blount, Richard Thomason, Carol Amendola, Emily Fitzgibbon-Dick, Jane Wright and Liz Blount. Choral member Donna Walker is not pictured.

Young Thane Tiffany’s soprano voice will open this year’s Masterworks Chorale “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” on Sunday at 4 p.m. at St. John’s United Methodist Church.

Tiffany sings with the church’s youth choir and will perform the solo in the concert’s “Once in Royal David’s City,” said Jim Heffner, chorale president and singer.

“He’s a remarkably poised and articulate young man,” he said.

While Tiffany isn’t a Masterworks regular, Tony Street has performed with Masterworks for four years.

“We always have a very good group of singers. Dr. Scraper is one of the best directors in the area,” he said.

The baritone also finds the “high holy” a yearly rewarding experience.

As it has been for more than 20 years, the concert will be in the style of a Church of England service, according to Carol Hidlay, a member of Masterworks.

Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light,” the folk song “Lo How a Rose E’re Blooming” and the Stephen Paulus-arranged carol “Angels We Have Heard on High” are a few songs audiences can expect.

Individuals such as Dr. Joel Scraper, the concert’s conductor and USC Aiken music professor, and Heffner will take the audience back to the story of the creation and bring them to the nativity story, Hidlay said.

“It is a beautiful and moving way to begin the Christmas holiday,” she said.

The groups performing with Scraper are Boundary Boys, Chukker Creek Elementary’s boy choir under the direction of music teacher Joyce English; Men for Him, St. Paul Lutheran’s male chorus; and Augusta Men’s Chorus, said Midge Rothrock, church public relations and communications director.

This is the chorale’s first time working with these groups.

“We invite different groups every year, so the pattern of collaboration is established,” Heffner said.

The concert is free and open to the public. However, there will be a freewill offering and all proceeds will go to Children’s Place.

The chorale will perform in honor of their former member Dick Gillette, who passed away earlier this year.

The concert’s organist is also St. Paul Lutheran organist Kathleen Cartledge. Anna Hamilton will assist on the piano.

“The Masterworks Chorale is comprised of very seasoned musicians, many of whom have or had musical careers,” Rothrock said. “They volunteer their time and talent for the love of working with talented others.”

The church is located at 104 Newberry St. N.W.

The chorale will next perform with USCA Concert Choir and String Quartet at the Valentine’s Serenade on Feb. 9 at the Aiken Center for the Arts.

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