Choral students at Walters State Community College are getting ready for the annual holiday concert, scheduled for Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Morristown.
While they are perfecting holiday favorites like “Festival of Carols” and “Angel’s Carol,” members are also thinking about what’s waiting for them after Christmas.
The Walters State Choir will spend two days in the spring working with a nationally known choral director and then present a master work backed by an orchestra – at Carnegie Hall, no less.
“We submitted an audition tape and the sponsor, Manhattan Concert Productions, selected us to receive an invitation. A limited number are given, and we were competing against four-year universities and even some graduate programs,” said Laura Ritter, assistant dean of humanities and director of choral programs at Walters State.
The college auditioned and was chosen to participate in 2010. As those attending the holiday concert will no doubt notice, this year’s choir is a very strong group. That’s the main reason Ritter decided to audition.
“This will give the students the opportunity to work on a more challenging score and also give them the chance to sing with a professional orchestra.
“Performing on the New York stage is quite an experience. Students will also be attending a Broadway play. For many, this will be a first,” Ritter said.
Forty-four students will be taking the trip to New York and Ritter is hoping money raised at events such as the Dec. 6 concert will help pay for the trip. The cost of a ticket is usually about $10. This time, the concert is free with donations will be accepted at the door.
“Our pops concert will be a Disney-themed fundraiser and we’re also delivering Christmas carols as a paid activity. We hope we can off-set the cost to the student,” Ritter said.
The Dec. 6 holiday concert will include the Walters State Choir and the Walters State Community Chorale. The Chorale is made up of both students and community members who enjoy chorale music.
For more information on the concert, call the Division of Humanities at 423-585-6922.
In the photo: The Walters State Choir performs under the direction of Laura Ritter.