The Shorter Chorale will perform in six Georgia churches during its 2017 Spring Tour, March 15 through 19. The chorale is under the direction of Dr. Aaron Rice, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities in Shorter University’s Edith Lester Harbin Department of Music. Shorter University graduate Kyle Coleman accompanies the chorale.
Concerts will be presented Wednesday, March 15, at 6:30 p.m. at New Armuchee Baptist Church, 5385 Martha Berry Hwy., Armuchee; Thursday, March 16, at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 208 South Church St., Thomaston; Friday, March 17, at 7:00 p.m. at Central Baptist Church, 201 Ava St., Waycross; Saturday, March 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Ivy Creek Baptist Church, 2500 Ivy Creek Rd. NE, Buford; Sunday, March 19, at the 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. services at First Baptist Church, 1275 Church St., Smyrna; and Sunday, March 19, at 6 p.m. at Pine Grove Baptist Church, 93 Pine Grove Road, Cartersville.
“We encourage all Shorter alumni and music lovers to join us across the state to celebrate all that God has done and is doing at Shorter University,” Dr. Rice said.
The program will feature music from a variety of styles including O Clap Your Hands by John Rutter; Richte Mich Gott op. 78, no. 2 by Felix Mendelssohn; Lullaby by Daniel Elder; I Will Rise arranged by Craig Courtney and Lynda Hassler; Ring Out, Wild Bells from The Passing of the Year by Jonathan Dove; Even When He is Silent by Kim Andre Arnesen; Trinity Psalms by Z. Randall Stroope; I Will Lift Mine Eyes by Jake Runestad; Leaning on the Everlasting Arms arranged by Eric Nelson; and Great God Almighty arranged by Stacey V. Gibbs. The program will end with Gilbert Martin’s arrangement of When I Survey the Wondrous Cross and Shorter Chorale Alumni will be invited to join the chorale on the stage.
“Ring Out Wild Bells reflects Alfred Lord Tennyson’s text that speaks to the changing seasons of life,” Dr. Rice said. “Dove writes in such a way to bring bell-like qualities to the voices.”
Dr. Rice added that Mendelssohn’s Richte Mich Gott models Psalm 43 and uses “rhythmic contrast throughout the piece to characterize the thematic development of the Psalm.” The piece is sung in the original German. He added that Gibbs’ arrangement of Great God Almighty has become popular among choral ensembles and is beloved by members of the Shorter Chorale.
The Shorter Chorale, founded in 1968, is the select choral ensemble of Shorter University. Dedicated to excellence in performance of music of all styles, the choir seeks to inspire beautiful singing that is musically respectful of each genre. Shorter has a rich tradition of excellence in the arts, and the chorale is the beneficiary of outstanding teaching at all levels of the university and at the School of Fine and Performing Arts.
In addition to conducting the Shorter Chorale, Dr. Rice conducts Shorter’s Men’s and Women’s Choirs and the Shorter Chorus. He teaches conducting and choral methods for students in the music education and church music degrees. Dr. Rice has prepared choirs for performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. While completing his DMA, he served as Associate Conductor for the Southwestern Master Chorale, which routinely performed with the Fort Worth Symphony.
A native of North Carolina, Rice received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Church Music and Choral Conducting at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He earned the Master of Music degree in Sacred Music and Choral Conducting at East Carolina University, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in both biblical studies and comprehensive music from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
As a member of American Choral Directors Association, Dr. Rice has performed as a chorister on state and regional concert programs. He most recently served as the Exhibits Chair for North Carolina ACDA. He is also an executive board member of the Baptist Church Music Conference and a member of Pi Kappa Lambda.
Written by Shorter University Public Relations Student Caleb Britt
Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christ-centered, four-year liberal arts university committed to excellence in education. The Princeton Review annually includes Shorter University on its list of Best Southeastern Colleges. The university offers traditional bachelor’s degrees in 40 areas of study, online courses and degree programs, undergraduate programs for working adults, and four master’s programs. Learn more about Shorter at www.shorter.edu.