Choral Society’s new music director ready to hit the ground running

Published 8:45 am Saturday, January 7, 2023

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As 2023 starts, Andrew Harry is getting in gear to take up his new position as the musical director of the Choral Society of West Georgia. Harry was handed the position after his mentor, Bettie Biggs, retired in November 2022.

“I’m excited to begin,” Harry said. “I’ve spent the last few weeks shopping for music and getting the programs for it. There’s just a lot of organization right now and just getting ready to launch things. Over the next few days, I anticipate I’ll start making my plans for our first rehearsal and be ready to jump in with both feet next Thursday.”

Harry said in becoming the music director, he hopes to do some different music than what has been done before.

“Bettie and I share a lot of the same vision, which is why I think this made for a nice seamless transition,” Harry said. “Bettie is a mentor for me and assisted me in this whole process as well as showing me how she’s done it for years, but also inviting me to bring a new vision to it.”

In bringing in new music, Harry said he looks to use some of the same music initially brought by Biggs.

“We have different styles, but at the same time, we share the same musical vision,” Harry said.

Before becoming the music director, Harry was the accompanist for the choir since 2018. During this time, he played at all their concerts and practices.

“The group has a lot of fun,” Harry said. “There’s all kinds of energy. Everybody’s there because they love to sing, and they want to enjoy making music together. That makes for a special group to work with because they are all passionate about the same thing.”

Harry said he is excited about the Choral Festival coming up on March 11.

“We used to put it on every year, but we haven’t since 2019 because of COVID,” Harry said. “I’m really excited to get that going again this year. We’re doing something different and really special and partnering with the Troup County School District.”

He said the event will include 60 middle schoolers from all three TCSS middle schools, which together will form a middle school honor chorus.

“They will be really featured at the Choral Festival as well as other local choruses,” Harry said. “I think we will be in for a really special treat, and it’s going to be awesome to see the impact this will have on these students and their families — getting to experience a massive choir setting will be exciting.”

Over the years, Harry said he has made a lot of close friends in the choir.

“I’m excited to see the same people returning but also the new friends joining us and seeing the community come together. I think that’s one of the most special things about a group like this — making music together,” Harry said. “You get a random group of people that would never come together any other way, and there’s this one thing that brings them together. They work together as a single group to put together a concert, and I think that’s one of the magical things about music.”