Mississippi College

MC Singers Booked for Carnegie Hall Concert

December 19, 2007

Mississippi College Singers will blend their voices with choruses from around the state for a January 13 concert at New York City's famed Carnegie Hall.

Following up on a performance at Carnegie Hall in April 2006, the return trip for the MC Singers is part of a musical tribute marking the national holiday for the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Honoring the life and legacy of the slain civil rights leader, the NYC program will spotlight scores of Mississippians teaming with choral groups from New Jersey - the Whippany Park High School Madrigal Singers and Sparta High School Select Choir.

The MC Singers will also be joined by the Mississippi School of the Arts Chorale of Brookhaven, the Mississippi Girlchoir of Jackson, and members of the chamber choir from St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Ridgeland. James Meaders, chairman and director of choral activities with the MC Music Department, will serve as guest conductor.

The New York trip represents another much-deserved accolade for the MC Singers that performed earlier this month at the Festival of Lights on the Clinton campus to usher in the Christmas season. Aaron Graham, the MC student body president, is one of their biggest fans. "They're outstanding. I don't think we appreciate how much they mean to our school," Graham said. "They are ambassadors for MC."

Graham, an MC senior from Jackson, has a close connection to the musical group. His younger brother Caleb Graham, 19, an MC sophomore, is a member of the MC Singers making the journey to New York. Caleb Graham was a member of the show choir at Jackson Academy.

About 40 Mississippi College students are expected to make the 1,100-mile trip to New York. A total of 175 singers will perform with an orchestra in Carnegie Hall's Isaac Stern Auditorium. The opening work will be Bob Chilcott's "Canticles of Light." The three-movement work is in Latin and based on the themes of hope, assurance and illumination, Meaders said.

The choirs will also perform "MLK," by Chilcott, "Look at the World," by John Rutter and "Hope for Resolution," by Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory. Carol Joy Sparkman, a member of the MC music faculty, will accompany the final two selections.

For Meaders, it marks the second time he's been was invited by MidAmerica Productions to conduct the Carnegie Hall concert series.

For generations, it's been a privilege for talented singers and musicians from around the globe to entertain Carnegie Hall audiences. During the past 20 years, orchestras performing there have included: the American Symphony Orchestra, the Manhattan Philharmonic, the New England Symphonic Ensemble, the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra and orchestras from Europe.

There will be time for the Mississippi visitors to do some sight-seeing. And there is plenty to see, from the Museum of Natural History to Broadway shows to the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island. Some students are making plans to visit the Empire State Building and go on a dinner cruise following the concert. The MC students will leave Jan. 10 and return Jan. 14.

Some of the young Mississippi performers continue to raise funds for the trip. Last weekend, members of the Mississippi Girlchoir wrapped Christmas presents at the Borders bookstore in Flowood and asked customers to donate to the cause. Soon after they arrive, the students will be busy. There will be a few rehearsals before the New York concert.

It's the latest long-distance trip for the MC Singers. In recent years, the group has entertained audiences around the United States, England, Italy and Slovenia.

To obtain tickets, contact MidAmerica Productions' Box Office at 212-239-4699. Tickets are also available at the door. For those looking for other things to do in New York, log onto www.nycvisit.com

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