September 11 — After a hiatus last year, there are plans to bring the community Christmas concert back to McAlester in December, with orientation and first rehearsals starting next week.
This year’s McAlester Arts and Humanities Community Christmas Concert will be held on Saturday, December 11 at 7:00 p.m. at McAlester’s S. Arch Thompson Auditorium.
Rodney “Maestro” Briggs, conductor of the Community Christmas Concert choir and orchestra, said he and other organizers were eager to bring the event back, after last year’s concert was canceled due to of COVID-19 issues.
“I think the anticipation is that everyone is ready to go back to something normal,” Briggs said. “For me, it will make the Christmas season more normal.”
With musicians forming what should be an already booked 16-piece orchestra, Briggs hopes to have 60 to 70 singers in the choir.
An orientation meeting for the singers to take on the music from the concert is scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, September 13 at First Christian Church, 920 E. Central Ave. at McAlester, followed by a practice session for the first and second sopranos only.
This will be followed by a workout for the violas from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, September 20, followed by a workout for the bass and tenor singers only, also from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. 30 Monday September 27.
“Starting October 4, all the singers will come together every Monday night to practice from 7 to 8:30 p.m. until the concert,” said Briggs.
Those interested in joining the Christmas Community Choir do not need to register or audition before rehearsals.
“Don’t sign up; just introduce yourself,” Briggs said. Those who wish to join the choir can attend one of the first three practice sessions held in September.
Briggs said separate workouts have been partially implemented due to COVID-19 issues, but he’s also interested in working with each group of singers individually before they all train together in October .
“We’re starting late so it helps to take one section one at a time,” he said.
Briggs attributed the late start of this year to concerns about COVID-19, as concert organizers ultimately decided to move forward with the event.
Singers must pay $ 39 for rated concert music – unless they join McAlester Arts and Humanities, which costs $ 30 for an annual membership. If they do, the arts and humanities will provide their music, covered by the $ 30 membership fee, Briggs said.
Singers who aren’t singing from noted music shouldn’t be affected, Briggs said. The music package includes a practice CD and they can get acquainted with the music by singing along with the choir, he said.
Briggs said the concert will not only benefit the community, it is also rewarding for those on stage.
“Singers and musicians can express themselves publicly,” Briggs said. “Everyone’s excited that I’ve spoken to.”
Contact James Beaty at [email protected]