Festival of Music offers Pilgrimage event

Published 10:36 pm Sunday, April 10, 2011

Special to the democrat

NATCHEZ — Songs of the Civil War, a new and original production of the Natchez Festival of Music, opened on Sunday at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 33 Fatherland Road in Natchez and will run at 8 p.m. each night through Saturday, April 16, as part of the Natchez Spring Pilgrimage. Music will be used to present the feelings and activities of the diverse cultural groups which made up the population of Natchez in the period just prior to and during the Civil War.

Professional opera singers who have all been a part of the Natchez Festival of Music in the past will be joined by several local singers. The music is as varied as the groups which inhabited the Natchez area at that time, including songs by Stephen Foster, excerpts from “The Messiah,” arias and music from romantic composers of the period, spirituals, songs about the river, songs of longing for a better life or for a loved one who is far away and songs about the conflict and agonies of war.

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Jonathan Levin serves as the musical director and accompanist for Songs of the Civil War. He has just been accepted as one of 12 finalists for the International Beethoven Sonata Competition to be held in May. Singers include Shana Braxton, Tyrone Chambers, Tynan Davis, Willie Minor, Kevin Radtke, Scott Roche, Vincent Turregano and Kristin Vogel.

Narrator will be Rusty Jenkins and Chris Cavette.

Tickets are $15 and are available at Natchez Pilgrimage Tours at the Natchez Visitor Center, by phone at 601-446-6631 or 1-800-647-6742, online at www.natchezpilgrimage.com, or at the door as long as space is available.