Concert shares scripture in song
Masterworks Chorale shared the story of the birth of Jesus Christ during its concert, “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols,” on Sunday at St. John's United Methodist Church.
Joel Scraper, who has conducted the concert for seven years, said he thought the event, which drew in more than 400 people, was well-attended and was pleased with it all around.
“I always love it because it starts the Christmas season and the organ opens up, and hearing the audience sing is great for me because it tells me that it's Christmas,” Scraper said. “Because of who I am, hearing all of those sounds is great.”
Beginning with “Once in Royal David's City,” the musical narrative depicted the birth of Jesus Christ through scripture and songs, including “What Child is This?,” “The Holy Infant's Lullaby” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
“This concert is different because of the obvious intertwining of scripture with music,” said Joel Scraper, the concert's conductor.
The annual production originally presented just the Masterworks Chorale, but, this year, it has evolved to include Augusta Men's Chorus, St. Paul Lutheran Church's male chorus Men for Him and Boundary Boys, Chukker Creek Elementary School's boys' choir, which is directed by music teacher Joyce English.
“In the beginning, this was a ticketed event and just included Masterworks, but it was later opened up to other groups, and it was important not to sell tickets to this,” Scraper said. “This is supposed to be for the community and, with finding a non-profit organization to donate the offerings to, it ties the concert back into the community.”
All donations were given to the nonprofit organization, Children's Place.
Peggy Ford, director of Children's Place, expressed gratitude toward St. John's United Methodist Church for its involvement in helping Children's Place and thanked the community for its contributions.
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.