Friday, November 18, 2016

16th Annual Gospel Christmas Saturday, December 3, Charleston Holiday Tradition Conducted by Dr. Eugene Rogers

Dr. Eugene Rogers

Charleston Gospel Choir and Spiritual Ensemble Ring in the Holiday Season
16th Annual Gospel Christmas: Saturday, December 3, Charleston Holiday Tradition

CHARLESTON, SC November 18, 2016 ─The acclaimed Charleston Gospel Choir joins the Charleston Spiritual Ensemble and, for the first time, the Colour of Music Festival Chorale for the holidays to present the 16th Annual Gospel Christmas Saturday, December 3, 2016, 7:30pm at Ashley River Baptist Church, 1101 Savannah Highway, Charleston.

Providing the setting for the story of Christ’s birth through music, the Charleston Spiritual Ensemble opens the program with moving interpretations of sacred holiday music in the manner of the African-American Spiritual featuring talented mezzo soprano, Shanelle Woods. Williams Dawson’s Behold the Star and Jacqueline B. Hairston’s, Nowhere To Lay His Head are among classic sacred works from the Robert Shaw and Russell Bennett collection that include Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming, O Sanctissima and Break Forth, and O Beauteous Heavenly Light.

A Lowcountry household name, the Charleston Gospel Choir brings real meaning to Charleston’s musical landscape performing down-home traditional gospel renditions including highly arranged toe-tapping compositions. Joined by the Colour of Music Festival Chorale both groups will share dynamic solos including a gospel arrangement by Isaac Cates of Carol of the Bell and The Little Drummer Boy, Whitney Houston’s version of Do You Hear What I Hear, and the climactic gospel arrangement of Go Tell It On the Mountain.

The performance will be conducted by acclaimed conductor Dr. Eugene Rogers, Associate Professor and Conductor of the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club featuring an orchestra of regional musicians for a rousing celebration of gospel favorites, moving spirituals, and festive holiday arrangements.

“I am honored to share wonderful holiday music in Charleston during my first visit to the Holy City and be part of this holiday tradition. Music and the holidays bring the joy of giving and love into our lives and is a wonderful way for families to be together,” said Dr. Rogers.

“We are again honored to be hosted by Reverend Dave Patterson and the Ashley River Baptist Church congregation. Their world-class sanctuary provides the perfect setting for telling the Christmas story and I am delighted to have the Colour of Music Festival Chorale join us this year,” said Lee Pringle, producer and president of the three musical groups.

Tickets and Information
16th Annual Gospel Christmas
Featuring the Charleston Gospel Choir, Charleston Spiritual Ensemble and Colour of Music Festival Chorale
Eugene Rogers, Guest Conductor
Shanelle Woods, mezzo soprano, guest soloist
Saturday December 3, 2016, 7:30pm
Ashley River Baptist Church, 1101 Savannah Highway, Charleston 
Tickets: $35 adults; $30 seniors; $15 students with ID; discounted group rates for 10 or more
Tickets available at door, or by phone (866) 811-4111

Featured Artists
Dr. Eugene Rogers, Conductor
Recognized as a leading conductor, pedagogue, and lecturer, Eugene Rogers has appeared throughout the United States as well as Africa, Canada, China, Singapore, England, Portugal, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Mexico, Spain, and Italy.  Recently, Rogers conducted the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club in Salt Lake City, Utah at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

In 2014, the Naxos recording of Milhaud's monumental L'Orestie d'Eschyle, on which Rogers served as a chorus master, was nominated for a 2015 GRAMMY® Award (Best Opera Recording).  In 2015, Mark Foster (Hal Leonard) Publishing began the Eugene Rogers Choral Series, a series featuring emerging composers who specialize in contemporary classical and folk music traditions.  Rogers is currently an associate professor of conducting and the associate director of choirs at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) where he teaches undergraduate conducting, conducts the Men's Glee Club and the University Choir, and is the faculty director of the MPulse Vocal Arts Institute, a national high school summer program. 

Rogers was recently named National Chair for the American Choral Directors Association Diversity Initiatives Standing Committee.  2016-17 appearances include guest conducting and conference presentations in South Africa, Madrid, Portugal, Mexico, Singapore. Hawaii, Virginia, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, California, Texas, British Columbia, and Michigan.

About the Charleston Gospel Choir
Since 1999, the Charleston Gospel Choir is one of Charleston’s most sought-after culturally diverse musical groups, performing gospel, spirituals and sacred music for local concert events as well as international and regional performances throughout the year

About the Charleston Spiritual Ensemble

Now in its ninth year, the 35-member Charleston Spiritual Ensemble honors the ‘spiritual,’ the historical musical form born of the suffering and endurance of African slaves after arriving to the southern shores of this country in powerful performances celebrating the unique, indigenous harmonies that helped form African-American cultural traditions.

About the Colour of Music Festival Chorale
Since 2013, the Colour of Music Festival Chorale has highlighted the choral traditions of classical, sacred and other musical repertoire from the African Diaspora. Lead by Atlanta-based Tony Thompson and singers from his Atlanta’s New Creation Singers, this is the Chorale’s holiday season Charleston debut.

Additional high resolution images and complete concert program available on request.


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