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Choral Music

Ouachita Women’s Chorus and Concert Choir set for first concert of year

Ouachita Baptist University will present the Women’s Chorus and Concert Choir in concert at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall on the Ouachita campus. This will be the first concert presented by the university’s choral program for the academic year.

“This performance will be an opportunity to hear Ouachitonians making incredible music together,” said Women’s Chorus Director David Stanley, OBU instructor of music. “The ladies have come together very quickly to put together a great program of music.”

Women’s Chorus includes nearly 50 students who auditioned for the group. The choir will perform Michael D. Mendoza’s “Sing a New Song,” Karen Linford Robinson’s “High Flight,” Daniel J. Hall’s arrangement of “In the Sweet By and By,” Stephen Paulus’ adaptation of “The Road Home” and Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory’s arrangement of the traditional spiritual “Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down.” The group will be accompanied on piano by Glenda Aldridge.

The Concert Choir portion of the performance will include music by Wolfgang Mozart, Franz Schubert and Richard Farrant. The choir is directed by Dr. Gary Gerber, whoalso serves as chair of the division of music, professor of music and director of choral activities. This year the choir has 145 students. It is open to all students on campus.

“Each year the choral area presents several choir concerts to Ouachita and the community that feature not only different choral ensembles, but types of concerts,” Gerber noted.

Additional opportunities to hear Ouachita choral groups include: Ouachita Singers FallConcert, Festival of Christmas, A Service of Lessons and Carols, Ouachita Sounds Spring Program and Concert Choir’s Spring work with orchestra.

OBU School of Fine Arts to feature Point of Grace in Festival of Christmas on December 2-3, 2011

Ouachita Baptist University’s School of Fine Arts will present its annual Festival of Christmas in Jones Performing Arts Center on Dec. 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m. The show will feature the Christian music group Point of Grace as the final event of Ouachita’s 125th anniversary celebration. Tickets are on sale now for $20 each at www.obu.edu/boxoffice. Ouachita students may each purchase one ticket at the discounted price of $10 with their student IDs.

“The Festival of Christmas featuring our own Point of Grace graduates is a fitting end to what has been a rich celebration of Ouachita’s 125th anniversary year,” said Ian Cosh, vice president for community and international engagement and chairman of Ouachita’s 125th anniversary steering committee.

Since forming at Ouachita Baptist University 19 years ago, Point of Grace emerged as one of the biggest names in Christian music. The two-time Grammy nominees have sold more than 6.5 million albums and earned 24 consecutive No. 1 singles, including radio staples “Steady On,” “The Great Divide” and “Circle of Friends,” a feat unmatched by any other artist in any musical genre. Point of Grace has won 13 prestigious Dove Awards, including three in 2011: Recorded Song of the Year for “There Is Nothing Greater than Grace,” Country Album of the Year for “No Changin’ Us” and Christmas Album of the Year for “Home for the Holidays.”

“The presence of these alumni, who have done so well in the music world, will be a reminder that our mission as a university is to graduate students who are competent, compassionate and committed to Christ,” Cosh said.

The program will include performances by students in Ouachita’s vocal, instrumental and theatre programs as well as dance students. Ensembles performing include Concert Choir, Ouachita Sounds and the Festival of Christmas Band.

“We wanted to do something special for the 125th year of Ouachita, so the show will be a little bit of us and a little bit of Point of Grace,” said Dr. Gary Gerber, Division of Music chair.

The first half of the show will feature the “best of” audience favorites from the past, including “Jingle Bells” “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Silent Night,” “Breath of Heaven,” “O Holy Night” and many more. Following this, Point of Grace will perform “Home for the Holidays,” followed by intermission.

After intermission, Point of Grace will perform a selection of sacred Christmas tunes with the OBU Concert Choir.

“The second half of the show will be special because our Concert Choir will be singing with Point of Grace,” Gerber said.

Emphasizing that this year’s Festival of Christmas will be a memorable performance, Gerber encouraged individuals to purchase their tickets before the shows are sold out.