Centenary Choir to perform in Jackson _lowres

Photo provided by Phoebe Thompson -- Centenary College Choir from Shreveport will perform a free concert starting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16 Centenary State Historic Site, 3522 College St., in Jackson.

Concertgoers attending Friday’s performance of the Centenary College Choir from Shreveport should expect the unexpected, organizers said.

The collegiate choir has traveled the globe for decades exploring new avenues in the world of collegiate choral music, according to a news release.

The choir’s repertoire ranges from Bach to Broadway, world folk music to contemporary church music and oratorio to opera, seeking to engage audiences through emotional, heartfelt music-making, the release states.

The program highlights with the theme “Out of this World” while exploring a wide range of world cultural music to the music of the cosmos.

“There is something for everyone at any Centenary Choir concert,” director David Hobson said. “We’ve always been known for singing a little bit of everything. This year expands on the notion of what ‘everything’ is. It has some unusual elements as to movement, props and styles, and yet I think it will be as engaging to the audience as any we’ve ever done. We’re excited, to say the least.”

Pieces include Mack Wilberg’s “Three Scottish Folksongs,” Stephen Hatfield’s rhythmic settings of the “Hispanic Las Amarillas” and spiritual “Ain’t That News” and Brad Holmes’ arrangements of “Shaker Dance” as well as the African-inspired “Noel.” Audiences enthused with the recent Norwegian exquisite choral music from Disney’s “Frozen” can look forward to a set of pieces from the movie, the news release said.

The theme ushers in music of the eternal and the cosmos selections such as Dan Forrest’s arrangement of “How Great Thou Art,” choir alumnus James Eakin’s “We Are the Stars” and Eriks E?envalds “Stars,” a piece accompanied by tuned water glasses.

Also included in the program is a men’s arrangement of “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”

For those looking for a more traditional bent, the choir will perform the chorus “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress is Our God)” set in contrapuntal display by Johann Sebastian Bach. This piece foreshadows the choir’s upcoming tour in May to Central Europe, where they will be performing in Bach’s hometown of Leipzig in addition to other great musical cities such as Prague, Vienna and Salzburg.

The tour continues a long tradition of world travel for the choir, having sung in 32 nations on six continents performing for troops in Korea, the presidents of the United States and Switzerland, the queen of Denmark, the leaders of NATO and the prime minister of Thailand.

The young men and women of the choir come from many areas of the nation and other countries and represent most of the academic majors offered by Centenary College. Choir members are selected by auditions held November through February for the following term.

Persons wishing to audition should contact Hobson to arrange an appointment. The choir is affiliated with the Hurley School of Music and offers scholarships for all its members. For information about the Hurley School of Music, call (318) 869-5235 or visit centenary.edu/choir.

Centenary Choir’s free concert begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Centenary State Historical Site, 3522 College St., in Jackson.

Concertgoers are encouraged to provide their own seating. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be presented in the sanctuary of Jackson United Methodist Church, 1727 Sycamore St.