Alcorn choir to make a joyful noise

Published 12:01 am Saturday, December 1, 2007

NATCHEZ — Come Sunday night, the normally quiet spaces in St. Mary Basilica will be filled with a joyful noise.

That’s when Alcorn State University’s Concert Choir will present its sixth-annual “Festival of Christmas.”

Choir director David Blackburn said the experience will be one to remember.

Email newsletter signup

“It’s a very special time for the entire choir,” he said.

Blackburn said the choir’s presentation has become so popular that it has evolved into a tradition with many local families.

“People in Natchez are so lucky because they don’t have to go anywhere,” he said. “They’re getting a world class performance right here in their hometown.”

Blackburn said it’s common for people from all around Mississippi to travel to Natchez for the concert.

And those lucky enough to see the concert live are joining a list of thousands worldwide who have been fortunate enough to hear the choir.

“You don’t even have to turn on the television,” Blackburn said. “It’s right here in town for everyone to just come and see.”

However, Blackburn said that so many people do come to see the choir that those arriving early will likely be the only ones lucky enough to get seats.

“It’s normally standing room only,” he said.

But standing or sitting just to see the choir is a truly uplifting experience Blackburn said.

And one of this year’s special guests should make the concert especially uplifiting.

Miss Mississippi Kimberly Morgan will be the concert’s guest soloist this year.

“She has a truly blessed voice,” Blackburn said of Morgan’s talents.

Morgan studied music under Blackburn for four years at Alcorn.

But for Blackburn, where the choir is singing is almost as important as who will be singing.

“That church was meant to be sung in,” he said.

This year the choir will be performing a wide array of songs ranging from classic Christmas, to “Porgy and Bess.”

Alcorn’s Christmas concert will be at 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Mary Basilica.