DECATUR — As their final concert for the season, the Decatur Choral Society’s Opus 24 show is appropriately titled “Sing Your Way Home.”
The concert will be 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at Decatur’s Central Christian Church.
Guests are invited to a cookie reception following the concert.
Tickets are available at the Decatur Area Arts Council and area churches including Central Christian, First Lutheran, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Grace United Methodist, St. James and St. Patrick. Tickets are also available at the door the night of the concert.
Opus 24 conductor Milton Scott chose the traditional song title for the concert as a symbolic piece. “Everybody has their own idea of home,” he said. “And as the last piece, we are all going home.”
The Opus 24 concert season is from November to May. The large choral ensemble merges approximately 40 voices from communities throughout Central Illinois.
According to Sheryl Frye, Decatur Choral Society board president, the choir has had a following for many years “from a community who loves and appreciates a variety of music,” she said. “They enjoy watching and listening to singers that they are acquainted with from the local area. They look forward to what Milt has combined into each semester's theme for a quality music experience.”
The spring concert will highlight composer John Rutter’s 1985 song, “Requiem.” Another featured piece will be “Across the Vast, Eternal Sky.” The song will have a special dedication to the memory of Dr. Keith Smith, a Decatur physician and long-time Opus 24 member who recently passed away. The choir will also sing new arrangements of classics such as “Kumbaya” and “William Tell Overture.”
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Opus 24 often performs with live music. However, the “Requiem” is scored for an orchestra, according to Scott. The spring concert will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra.
“We’ll have percussion, organ, flute, cello, harp and oboe,” he said.
Since the choir ensemble was formed nearly 30 years ago, they have grown in size as well as being a prominent source of entertainment. They have performed at festivals, conventions and universities.
Opus 24 also contributes to local music education and development. The ensemble recently awarded scholarships to area high school students. “One of the students will be singing at the concert,” Scott said. “She is a vocal scholarship recipient and will be perform a solo.”
According to Scott, the cookie reception is unique to the spring concert. “It is a patron appreciation reception,” he said. “It’s to say thank you.”
Frye said her favorite part of performing is watching the audience and their reactions.
“And the warmth of their responses at the close of the concert,” she said. “It's a "win-win" opportunity for us who love to sing and to those who love being sung to.”