Choral Society to host Thanksgiving concert

November 18, 2013

The Choral Society of West Georgia will perform “We Gather Together,” a “concert of praise and thanksgiving” on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of The First Presbyterian Church in downtown LaGrange.

The eighth annual concert will celebrate the unique musical heritage of the American folk hymn as part of the Smithsonian Institute’s Exhibition New Harmonies, which explores the early traditions of American music including sacred, country, blues and dance. The exhibition is currently in its final residency at the Legacy Museum on Main.

The 55-member choir is composed of community volunteer singers from both the West Georgia and East Alabama areas under the direction of founder and artistic director Elizabeth W. Biggs.

LaGrange Mayor-elect Jim Thornton will be the guest narrator for the concert.

The program will feature selections with musical roots found in Early American hymns, Sacred Harp singing, Appalachian, African-American, Scottish and Irish origins. Music that has been passed down throughout the American rich musical heritage and still resonates with today’s culture. The concert honors the enduring vitality of both folk hymns and spirituals.

The Choral Society, under the direction of Elizabeth Biggs, will feature guest soloists from the West Georgia area in a variety of instrumental offerings in conjunction with the choir. David Kocsis, organist at First Presbyterian Church, and violinist/violist Sam Lee, will be returning as guest soloists. The concert will also feature LSO clarinetist Jean Brumbeloe performing in a featured work by Randall Thompson.

Meriwether County resident Rusty Tate will make his Choral Society debut in a variety of instrumental offerings, including guitar, bagpipe and Ullieann pipes. A graduate of the Atlanta Institute of Music, Tate lives in Gay and teaches full time in the Newnan area. His Celtic ensemble, Celtic Ties, perform throughout the West Georgia and Atlanta area. Rick Fennwick of Atlanta will be guest percussionist for the concert.

Cindy Brown is the Choral Society accompanist with Eve McKibben as associate accompanist. The readings and reflections for the concert are compiled by director Elizabeth Biggs as a way to further underscore both the music and the unique setting which the concert offers.

“This concert has become the Choral Society’s musical gift to the community” Biggs said. “It ushers in the holiday season with great musical dignity combined with the power of the spoken word in both prose and poetry. It reminds us of who we are, where we came from and how richly blessed our lives are throughout the years.”

Tickets are $10 and $12 at the door. They can be purchased from any Choral Society member as well as at The White Orchid, Stephens Exclusives, and Plum Southern.

Tickets also are available online at

For further information contact or 706-882-2734.