Starr’s Mill Choral program presents 14th annual Candlelight Processional

Students enrolled in Starr’s Mill High School’s Music Therapy Program rehearse for their upcoming performance at the Choral Department’s holiday concert on Dec. 7. Photo/Special.

The Starr’s Mill Choral Department is preparing for two very special holiday performances that are sure to get you in the spirit of the season.
On Tuesday, Dec. 7, the SMHS Choral Department will present its 14th annual Candlelight Processional and evening of wonderful holiday music by all six SMHS choral ensembles: Bel Canto, Camerata, Bella Voce, Chanticleer, An Octave Above and Men of the Mill.

In addition, as a special highlight to this year’s program, 12 students from SMHS’s music therapy class will perform on the Duke Auditorium stage for the first time. The music therapy program was begun last spring by Christy Todd, SMHS assistant choral director, and Courtney Savage, SMHS Community Based Vocational Instruction teacher, as a way to incorporate fine arts instruction into the curriculum of these students. The students will sing and perform with bells that are designed to accommodate their special needs.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a silent auction in the lobby of Duke Auditorium, where items, including a “Starr’s Mill blue” golf cart donated by Golf Rider, will be on display and up for bid. Proceeds from the auction go toward the Choral Scholarship Fund, which benefits senior choral students who plan to continue participation in music at the college level.

The music program, which follows at 7 p.m., will feature selections from composers Robert Shaw, Morten Lauridsen, Camille Saint-Saens, Ken Berg and Abbie Betinis, in addition to traditional French and Basque Christmas Carols and Gregorian Chant. Dan Gant, Starr’s Mill High School science teacher, will be a guest soloist on the program. The concert is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, Dec. 11, Chanticleer, SMHS’s senior auditioned ensemble, will perform with Tara Winds at the group’s 22nd annual “Music of the Season” concert at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center in Jonesboro.

Tara Winds is an adult symphonic band created in 1988 to encourage school bandsmen to continue performing after completion of their formal education. The band, which calls itself Georgia’s Community Band, is conducted by Dr. Andrea D. Strauss, who is presently director of bands, associate professor of music, and assistant director of instrumental activities at Shorter University in Rome, Ga.

Music of the Seasons, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will also feature the Durham Middle School Bel Canto ensemble, the Southern Crescent Chorale and the Atlanta Festival Ballet. Tickets, which will be sold at the door, cost $10 for general admission and $5 for students and senior citizens.

For more information about Tara Winds, visit www.tarawinds.org.

For more information, call the school at 770-486-2710.

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