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‘A Night of Choral Music’ March 7 at ABAC First Tuesday Concert

February 27, 2017

The Southern Chorale, the premier choral ensemble from Georgia Southern University, and acclaimed a cappella barbershop ensemble Southern Gentleman will perform during “A Night of Choral Music” at the First Tuesday Concert Series at 7 p.m. on March 7 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.  This concert at the ABAC Chapel of All Faiths is open to the public at no charge.

The First Tuesday series, now in its 15th year, features regional professional artists on the first Tuesdays of five months during the year.  Dr. Susan Roe, Head of the ABAC Department of Fine Arts and Professor of Voice, is the First Tuesday Program Director.

The Chorale will perform a dozen selections, including “Ave Maria” by Guiseppe Verdi and Ross C. Berhardt’s “Irish Blessing.”  This performance is part of The Southern Chorale’s Georgia Southern University Choir Tour.  The Southern Gentleman ensemble sings music steeped in the tradition of Barbershop Harmony and standards from the American Songbook.

Dr. Shannon Jeffreys is the Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor at Georgia Southern where she conducts Southern Chorale, Southern Sirens, and Southern Gentleman while teaching undergraduate and graduate conducting and literature courses. She has led these choirs in three international choral competitions where the choirs won significant awards.

Awarded the “CLASS Award of Distinction in Teaching” from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Jeffreys holds degrees in music performance and conducting from Birmingham Southern College, the University of Mississippi, and the University of South Carolina. She is an active adjudicator and clinician and a member of The National Association of Teachers of Singing, the American Choral Directors Association, and the National Association for Music Education.

The Southern Chorale draws from GSU’s most talented vocal students, providing an exceptional musical experience for all who hear the elite group.  The ensemble performs literature from all styles and periods with an emphasis on a cappella selections and masterworks with orchestra.  Under Jeffreys’ direction, the Chorale won prizes in the Anton Bruckner International Choral Competition in Linz, Austria in 2013 and earned the highest score given in Sing ‘N’ Joy International Competition and Festival, winning the Spiritual Category. Last summer the Chorale won the Grand Prize in the mixed category and the spirituals category at the Laurea Mundi Budapest.

Southern Gentleman was formed in 2014 under Jeffreys and is now conducted by student director Colin Harrison and assistant director Josh Cook. Their purpose is to study the style of barbershop, to entertain audiences of all generations with their genuine and honest delivery of music, and to support their community through music education and school system programs.

In 2015, Southern Gentleman won its first competition, placing first at the Barbershop Harmony Society’s Midwinter Convention in New Orleans.  In 2016, Southern Gentlemen won the category of popular music at the Laurea Mundi Budapest, qualifying to compete for the Grand Prize.  ABAC alumnus Travius Burch is a current member of Southern Gentleman.  Burch received his associate of fine arts in voice from ABAC.  He is a native of Sylvester.

For more information on the First Tuesday Concert Series, interested persons can contact Roe at sroe@abac.edu.  The final First Tuesday Concert of the season will focus on the always popular Broadway Night on April 4.
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