In the winter of 2013/14, Jerry & Kaye Johnson, of New Hope Ministries, asked Larry Marion to direct a new community chorus. Larry was a natural choice, because he had been the band leader and primary music teacher at Giles County High School for decades. So the Giles County Community Chorus convened its first practice on January 23, 2014 and thrived under his direction until he was unexpectedly called home in October, 2016.
So chorus members reached into the bass section and invited Thomas DeBusk to “take the baton”. Under his direction, and with the blessing of the New Hope leadership, the Chorus transformed itself into a self-governing, free-standing organization. After a few weeks of intensive study and planning, they adopted a set of bylaws, elected an executive committee, and elected Thomas DeBusk as the new director. (It sure helps to have an in-house lawyer!) The Chorus’ best days still lie ahead.
Our Performance Schedule
We have two major concert seasons each year: Christmas and spring/summer. Since we planned a patriotic theme for our spring 2017 concert, we performed it first on Memorial Day, May 29. It was so well-received, we did it twice more, on July 2 & 4.
In December, 2017, we also performed our Christmas repertoire on 3 dates in 3 different venues. For our upcoming spring/summer concerts, we’re also looking at Memorial Day and July 4 dates. Check out our Concerts page for exact times, dates, and places once they’re announced. From time-to-time, we also perform for other events in between, based on requests and our availability.
This spring (2018), we accepted an invitation to perform at a church in Blacksburg: Northside Presbyterian. But we didn’t have it all of our concert program ready by April 15 (the performance date), so we invited “Clangin’ Around” the New River Valley’s ONLY community-based handbell/hand chime ensemble, to share the program with us. We’re now in the middle of the next big thing on our performance schedule: performing our full program 3 times. We’ve already completed 2 performances at the end of May and beginning of June. There’s only one left now at the beginning of July. See our concert page here for details. We also had a shorter appearance opening the Pearisburg Festival in the Park on Friday, June 15, 2018 at 6 pm.
We don’t do auditions. We take seriously our charge to promote the art of choral singing throughout the community. That means we don’t turn anyone away who comes with a willing, teachable spirit. We’re not looking for vocal all-stars. We’re looking for singers who want to merge their voices with others to create something larger than themselves. Spreading the love of singing is a contact sport. Give us a chance to pass ours on to you.
We also perform original songs and arrangements. For example, during February, 2017, we performed original a cappella arrangements of Moon River, and Over the Rainbow. Our 2017 spring/summer patriotic concerts had several original arrangements, including a medley of Dixie & The Battle Hymn of the Republic, combined with an original song, All God’s Children Know, all arranged by our director, Thomas DeBusk. State Pride on Parade is a medley we also performed in 2017. It was an original arrangement of 12 songs about states, purpose-built to give members opportunities to sing solos, duets, trios, and quartets. Our 2017 Christmas concerts include a hauntingly beautiful original arrangement of One Small Child for a 4-part quartet, and a jazz-tinged original duet arrangement of Some Children See Him.
If you have a song you’ve written and/or arranged for choral performance, we’re all ears. We’d love to see if we can work it into our performance schedule!
The Giles County Community Chorus is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Copyright © 2017 by the Giles County Community Chorus. All rights reserved.