-- The Southern Chorale, the premiere touring
choral ensemble at The University of Southern Mississippi, will present
its fall concert at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 28 at First Baptist Church in
The concert program will feature an eclectic mix of
standard choral repertoire, including works by Bach and 20th-century
Baltic States composer Arvo Pärt, to a segment devoted to vocal
jazz, delivered by five small ensembles made up of members of the
"This is not a typical Southern Chorale concert,"
said Dr. Gregory Fuller, director of the group. "Half the program
is made up of our standard classic repertoire that our audience
has come to expect, but we've formed our singers into five groups
and have given them an opportunity to perform as a jazz ensemble."
This exploration comes on the heels of a successful
event produced by the choral area at Southern Miss. On Sept. 24,
the Grammy Award-winning jazz vocal group New York Voices gave a
well-received concert at Bennett Auditorium. "Their music was
inspirational and helped motivate us to experiment with the style
in our own choral program," Fuller said.
"I'm looking forward to performing in one of
the vocal jazz ensembles," said Robert Bradley, graduate baritone
member of the choir. "It is not a normal singing genre for
me, but it has given us, by working in these smaller ensembles,
a chance to try other kinds of music."
Selections chosen for the jazz portion of the concert
include Harold Arlen tunes and standard Tin Pan Alley tunes, with
a few contemporary arrangements of Beatles hits.
Fuller expects the classic portion of the program
to be a crowd-pleaser as well. "We have a great audience following
in the area-our concerts are well attended, and we credit the outstanding
student talent for this loyalty," Fuller said. "We choose
music that showcases the best attributes of the singers."
"The musical selections are incredibly diverse
and challenging," Bradley said. "We hope the audience
enjoys the music as much as we enjoy singing it."
The Southern Chorale recently accepted an invitation
to perform at the National American Choral Directors Association
convention in Los Angeles in February 2005. This is the first-ever
invitation for the choir as a featured performer.
The concert is free and open to the public. For more
information, call the Choral Activities Office at (601) 266-4092.