Lenoir-Rhyne University's Sacred Music Program and A Cappella Choir will partner with local church choirs and members of the community to present Joining in Song on Sunday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church in downtown Hickory.
Dr. Frances Fonza, Director of Worship and Arts at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church, and Brandon Boyd, a doctoral student in choral conducting at Florida State University will be the guest conductors. The festival style choir will lead the congregation in music representative of the area's hymn-singing and Gospel music traditions.
Community members interested in participating in the choir are asked to attend rehearsal the day of the event from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church. A meal with be served for participants after the rehearsal before the performance begins at 6:30 p.m. Choir members are asked to wear any combination of black, white, and solid bright colors.
Fonza is an active singer, clinician, and adjudicator from Clinton, Maryland. She holds music degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and Florida State University. Fonza taught choral music at the middle and high-school level and has previously worked as Assistant Professor of Music Education and Director of Choral Activities at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Boyd is a pianist, clinician, conductor, and church musician. He has presented at sacred music conferences across the country, and holds degrees from Tennessee State and Florida State Universities.
"The goal of this event is to bring people together around song who might not otherwise interact in meaningful ways," said Dr. Ryan Luhrs Assistant Professor of Music and Director of LR Choral Activities. Luhrs is also serving as the event's organizer. "We're using singing as a tool to chip away at social barriers, such as those related to ethnicity, religion, age, social status, and more," he said. "We also want to bring together college students and community members to participate in the choir together regardless of their background or experience."
Choir members are encouraged, but not required, to register in advance by contacting Luhrs at email@example.com or calling 828.328-7149.