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Choral festival to make LaGrange debut

Vocalists to showcase talents in free concert

By Melanie Ruberti

mruberti@civitasmedia.com

Members of Voices of the Valley perform in this undated handout photo. They are one of the eight choral societies performing in the inaugural 2016 West Georgia Choral Arts Festival on the LaGrange College campus Saturday. The event will culminate at 4 p.m. with a free performance by more than 300 singers inside Callaway Auditorium.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_voices-of-the-valley2-1.jpgMembers of Voices of the Valley perform in this undated handout photo. They are one of the eight choral societies performing in the inaugural 2016 West Georgia Choral Arts Festival on the LaGrange College campus Saturday. The event will culminate at 4 p.m. with a free performance by more than 300 singers inside Callaway Auditorium.

LaGRANGE — More than 300 people from eight different choral societies will harmonize under one roof this weekend on the LaGrange College campus for the inaugural 2016 West Georgia Choral Arts Festival.

The event is hosted by the Choral Society of West Georgia and is honoring the organization’s 10th anniversary in LaGrange.

The festival rehearsals begin Saturday morning in LaGrange College’s new music school — the former West Side Magnet School on Forrest Avenue — culminating with a formal choral concert that afternoon inside Callaway Auditorium.

Bettie Biggs, artistic director of the Choral Society of West Georgia, told the Daily News in early February the eight choirs mainly come from the southwestern part of the state and the singers are from all walks of life. Vocalists range in age from 8 to 80 from the Choral Society of West Georgia, the Sons of Lafayette, LaGrange College Choir, Point University Choir, choral ensembles from Troup, Callaway and LaGrange high schools, and the Voices of the Valley Children’s Choir from Columbus Preparatory School in Columbus.

“The community will see what a wealth of talent we have here and how fortunate we are in this community to not only have this talent, but the personnel and facilities to host such an exciting event,” Biggs stated.

According to Biggs, this is the first volunteer choral festival of its kind in West Georgia.

Beth Everett, associate professor of music and director of choral ensembles at LaGrange College, will be the guest conductor for the festival.

The 2016 West Georgia Choral Arts Festival concert begins 4 p.m. Saturday inside Callaway Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

Melanie Ruberti is a reporter with LaGrange Daily News. She may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.