Alcorn Choir to bring holiday cheer Sunday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; The annual Natchez Festival of Music Christmas program will feature the 56-voice Alcorn State University Concert Choir in a program of wide-ranging styles of seasonal music.

The free program, beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Mary Basilica, includes favorite Christmas carols as well as the John Rutter &8220;Gloria,&8221; accompanied by brass choir and percussion from the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, said David Blackburn, conductor.

&8220;We have a wonderful program, the biggest of our year,&8221; Blackburn said. Tony Gordon will accompany the choir on keyboard.

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After the hour-long musical presentation, the Festival of Music Guild will host a reception and a silent auction at St. Theresa Hall at the basilica.

&8220;We hope people will come to greet the singers and have some refreshments,&8221; Blackburn said.

The choir has rehearsed long hours for the program, he said.

&8220;It&8217;s not easy music, and they&8217;ve met the challenge. It will be beautiful and there will be a little bit of everything, something for everyone.&8221;

Other selections on the program include selections from George F. Handel&8217;s &8220;Messiah&8221; and some lively Christmas tunes such as &8220;The Twelve Days of Christmas&8221; and &8220;Go Tell It On The Mountain.&8221;

The Alcorn Men&8217;s Choral Ensemble, conducted by Charles E. Wesley, will be guest artists at the festival program, singing two numbers, &8220;Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day&8221; and &8220;Mary Had a Baby.&8221;

Blackburn said the program is presented to the community in the spirit of Christmas.

&8220;In essence, it says, &8216;Merry Christmas,&8217;&8221; he said. &8220;It is a gift.&8221;