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Singing from the Heart

Southern Crescent Chorale celebrates a milestone with 20 seasons of excellence in music and giving back.

Janice Folsom's skills as a choral conductor and educator have been widely recognized for decades. In 2002, when Ms. Folsom began giving thought to retiring from a 34-year teaching career - 29 of which were spent at Fayette County High School. There she held the position of Choral Director and served as Fine Arts Department Chair, as well as Music Contact for the county. She knew that music would always be an important part of her life. Ms. Folsom wanted to start a community choir and looked to Chorus America - a community of colleagues who care about choral music and the choral field - for the guidance and framework to realize her dream. By the time Ms. Folsom retired in 2006, the Southern Crescent Chorale was firmly established and well on its way to becoming the outstanding choir it is today.

Movement, syncopation, choreography, pitches, rhythm, articulation, phrasing, and so much more. There's quite a bit that goes into the chorale music and performances audiences experience at a Southern Crescent Chorale concert. Audiences love and enjoy the musical pieces performed by the Chorale, but most don't realize how challenging and technical the musical pieces actually are.

Southern Crescent Chorale delivers dynamic performances of major works, as well as opera, spirituals, Broadway and pop favorites at venues throughout the region. Now in it's twentieth season, the Chorale has established a reputation for excellence and achievement in the South metro area arts community. A 65-voice community chorus, the Chorale's mission is to enrich its communities and provide talented and interested singers an opportunity to perform a variety of challenging choral literature with high performance standards. In the words of Ms. Folsom, "We share extraordinary chorale music with our singers to provide them and our community an opportunity to experience it."

The Chorale has performed before thousands in notable venues in our community and abroad. Some of these venues include Spivey Hall, Southern Ground Amphitheater, Milan Cathedral, Berlin Cathedral, the Assisi Basilica in Italy, Saint Stefan's Church in Vienna, Basilica in Toledo, Spain; Cathedral at Escorial, Spain; St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland; Winchester Cathedral in England, Chartres Cathedral in France, and Bergen Cathedral in Norway, all of which has deepened and extended the choir's community footprint.

The Chorale is pleased to present a concert each season to benefit children's organizations in our community. The first benefit concert, held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, was a collaboration in 2004 with Southern Crescent Chorale, Ebenezer Baptist Church Choir, Fayette County High School Select Chorus, and Woodward Academy, to benefit the Atlanta Boys & Girls Club. The Chorale continues this tradition of supporting youth-serving organizations with a benefit concert.

Southern Crescent Chorale's annual gala is the organization's signature fundraiser. The proceeds from this event support the concerts. The cost of music - which is the lion's share of the budget, instrumentalists, a professional orchestra for the annual Christmas concert, special soloists, venues, and marketing make up the organization's budget. Bringing quality choral music to the South side of Atlanta has always been the goal of the Chorale. Janice is confident, "If anyone would come, they would fall in love with it and want to come back."

The date has been set for the 20th season celebration concert. New Hope Baptist Church is the place to be on March 13, 2022 at 3:00 pm, as Southern Crescent Chorale performs yet another concert with musical excellence. She is incredibly proud of the Chorale and has great love and respect for the singers. "The Chorale singers work hard every Monday night for two and a half hours learning the music - not just the pitches and rhythms, but learning to blend to sound like one voice. They work on stage presence and how they will share themselves - not just their voice - with the audience.

Ms. Folsom puts a great deal of thought into deciding the theme for every concert, and even more thought into picking the music. The Chorale concerts are impressive, entertaining, uplifting, and affordable. Advance ticket prices range from $15-$20. Top price for a ticket at the door is $25. If you are a student or age 60+, you can get a ticket to an amazing concert for $15.

The choir is like family. There are original members still with the Chorale since the very first concert. The pandemic created challenges for the Chorale, as well as concern that they would not be able to sing. Fortunately, they were able to work around the challenges and engage with experts who helped them create outstanding virtual performances like the must-see 2020 Christmas Concert. If you haven't been to a Chorale concert and are curious about what you've been missing, you can hear recordings of incredible music at www.southerncrescentchorale.org.

Janice offers advice for any young person interested in singing: "If you want to be a singer, you should first get a good foundation in music and the best way to do that is by learning to play the piano." To the community, she wants everyone to know, "We are excellent in all we do." Before every concert performance, Ms. Folsom tells the choir to sing from the heart. She believes that, "Music is giving of yourself." If you've attended a Chorale concert, you certainly get it all. If you haven't, plan to soon, and get ready for a wonderfully memorable experience.

Christmas with the Southern Crescent Chorale

Sponsored by Bruce Dickerson - Edward Jones Investments.

Featuring The Atlanta Concert Ringers and Natalie Almeter, Soprano

First Presbyterian Church, 206 Willow Bend Road, Peachtree City

Friday, December 3rd,  7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 5th,  3:00 p.m. 

Advance Tickets $20 Adults $15 Students and Seniors* At Door $25.00

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