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The LaGrange Civic Chorale presents "S'Wonderful"

The LaGrange Civic Chorales will present “S’ Wonderful,” a celebration of the music of George and Ira Gershwin, at 7:30 p.m. March 4 in LaGrange College's Callaway Auditorium.

Tickets are $5-$15.

Bettie Biggs, founder and artistic director of the group, said the concert will feature several young instrumentalists, including pianist Angelyn Traylor and Zack Wright. The two pianists will play Gershwin songs composed for both solo and four-hand piano. Violinist Callie Hammond will perform "Short Story" for violin, accompanied on piano by Linda Scantlin.

Wright, a Troup High senior, is a student of Betty Ann Diaz of Columbus State University. He will attend Belmont University in the fall with a concentration in music performance. Traylor, a LaGrange High School sophomore, is a student of Rick Robertson and Anthony Criswell. She recently was crowned “Miss Troup Teen.”

Callie Hammond is assistant concert master of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra as well as the conductor and artistic director of the LaGrange Youth Symphony.

Joining them will be tenor LeGree McCamey and soprano Deidre Reason as the featured vocal soloists. Chorale accompanist Scantlin will also perform in a solo capacity and will be joined by bass James Gibson, Troup High School choral director, in a four-hand piece.

“Gershwin was a phenomenal pianist who yearned to be respected as a “serious” composer Biggs said. “As a result, we have arranged for these outstanding instrumentalists to be featured between the choral movements of the program.”

The concert will chronicle the short but intensely productive life of George Gershwin who died tragically at 38 of a brain tumor. Equally important will be the work of his brother and lyricist, Ira Gershwin, who continued his career well into the early 1980s.

"The response to our new mixed chorale has been nothing short of spectacular," Biggs said. "This is our fourth full concert and follows the wonderfully successful Medieval Madrigal Dinner in December and our spring concert of 2007 'An Evening With Irving' which featured Demetrius Tuttle as a young Irving Berlin."

The LaGrange Civic Chorale is an independent choral society composed of both men and women from the West Georgia and East Alabama area. Rehearsals are on Thursday evenings at First Baptist Church on the Square in LaGrange. Anyone interested in singing with the chorale should contact Biggs at civicchorale@bellsouth.net or call 706-882-2734 for a voice placement interview.

Past performances have included “Rejoice and Be Merry – A Medieval Madrigal Dinner”, “An Evening With Irving – The Music of Irving Berlin” and “Behold A Star – A Concert of Christmas Classics.” Biggs is also artistic director and founder of Bel Canto LaGrange, a women’s vocal ensemble.

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