The Paducah Symphony Orchestra Adult Chorus is one of several choral groups that will be featured at the PSO's Choral Finale, to be held at 7 p.m. Saturday. With the addition of PSO's Youth and Children's Choruses, the choir of Paducah Tilghman High School, UT Martin's University Singers, and the Murray State University Concert Choir, the number of singers in the finale will total nearly 300.
An unprecedented number of voices will flood the hall of the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center this Saturday.
The Paducah Symphony Orchestra’s Choral Finale will bring together several choirs from the region — including two special guest groups, the Paducah Tilghman High and the University Singers of the University of Tennessee at Martin — for a total of 280 singers performing.
“There’s not going to be a square inch of stage to speak of,” PSO Executive Director Daniel Sene said. “People will be impressed. I highly doubt the symphony has ever had this many voices sing with them.”
Sene said the evening’s challenging repertoire, which includes Piotr Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet” overture and Howard Hanson’s “Lament for Beowulf,” called for a large number of strong singers. The Paducah Symphony Chorus, Murray State University Concert Choir, and the University Singers will perform the pieces.
Children’s voices are essential to John Rutter’s “Mass of the Children,” which constitutes the second half of the program. Seventy singers from the Tilghman choir and 60 singers from the PSO Youth and Children’s Choruses will join the adult choruses for the piece.
Bradley Almquist, choral director for the PSO, noted that “Mass of the Children” holds significance for many of his singers.
He said that he conducted the Paducah Symphony choruses in a performance of “Mass of the Children” years ago. Several of the adult chorus members remembered singing the piece in their youth, he said, and will now be performing it with members of the MSU Concert Choir or the PSO Youth Chorus.
“It is terrific for young singers to have a connection to work that they can carry throughout their lives,” Almquist said.
Almquist said Saturday’s performance represents the first time that the two guest choruses have joined the PSO choruses and the Murray State University Concert Choir onstage.
Adding the guest choruses will showcase the community’s talent and give the young singers a unique performance opportunity, according to Raffaele Ponti, conductor and artistic director for the PSO.
“It should be a life-changing experience for the kids. ... (It’s) a great synergy of sound and camaraderie and new friendships,” Ponti said.
The lineup for the 2013-2014 season will be revealed to the general public during the concert, as well. Ponti expects that the finale will leave audiences excited for the upcoming season.
“It’s going to be a great way to end our season, and leave people on a high, waiting for next September,” Ponti said.
“A Choral Finale” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20, in the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center. Tickets are available at the Carson Center box office, 270-450-4444, or online at thecarsoncenter.org.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641 or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.
Want to go?
What: “A Choral Finale”
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: The Carson Center, 100 Kentucky Ave.
Tickets are available at the Carson Center box office, 270-450-4444, or online at thecarsoncenter.org.