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Released October 12, 2004


HATTIESBURG -- 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 Hattiesburg.

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 Southern Chorale.

"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.


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November 23, 2004 9:23 AM