Chamber Singers to Spend Spring Break in Song

EMU Chamber Singers
EMU Chamber Singers Photo by Jim Bishop

The Chamber Singers, a select student choir at EMU, will give programs of worship in music at nine locations in three states states during the school’s mid-semester break.

The 34-member choir, directed by Dr. Kenneth Nafziger, will present a repertoire centered around a cycle of pieces for a cappella chorus by South Carolina composer Dan Forrest, “Words from Paradise.” Each piece in the cycle is on one word used prominently in the Bible: Holy, Hallelujah, Selah, Hosanna and Amen.

The concert will include music from many sources that explores these five words, including traditional classical as well as modern choral music, music from Africa and New Zealand and colorful hymn singing with the congregation.

Dr. Nafziger is professor of music at EMU. His teaching responsibilities include directing the EMU Chamber Singers and courses in conducting, interdisciplinary humanities and world music. Nafziger is also artistic director and conductor of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival held in June each year on the EMU campus.

Nafziger was music editor of “Hymnal: a Worship Book,” released in 1992, and editor of its Accompaniment Handbook (1993). He was assistant to the editor for both “Sing the Journey” and “Sing the Story” and producer and director of four CDs of music from these hymnal supplements. He is also co-author of the book, “Singing: a Mennonite Voice.”

James E. (Jim) Clemens, a composer from Harrisonburg, will provide accompaniment on some selections.

The group’s itinerary follows:

  • Mar. 2, Sarasota, Fla. – Bahia Vista Mennonite Church, 9 and 10:30 a.m.; Newtown Gospel Chapel, 11:30 a.m.; Bayshore Mennonite Church, 6 p.m.
  • Mar. 3, Sarasota Christian School, middle school chapel, 10:45 a.m.; Sarasota Christian School, high school chapel, 11:30 a.m.
  • Mar. 4, First United Methodist Church, Clearwater, Fla., 7:30 p.m.
  • Mar. 6, Americus Mennonite Fellowship, Americus, Ga., 7 p.m.
  • Mar. 7, East Atlanta Christian Fellowship, Atlanta, Ga., 7 p.m.
  • Mar. 9, Raleigh (NC) Mennonite Church, 10:30 a.m.

Free-will offerings will be taken at most locations.