New director takes helm of Community Chorus Christmas Concert

Published 5:36 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Rehearsals will get underway on Oct. 1 for the Community Chorus’ annual Christmas Concert. 

The theme for this year’s concert, under the direction of Dr. Susan Lyle, will be “Carols from Around the World.” The upcoming concert will mark the first time Dr. Lyle takes the stand as director of the Community Chorus, but she has a long history as a performer, conductor and music educator. 

She currently serves as the director of music for the Congregational Church of Tryon, and has been a member of the voice faculty at the Petrie School of Music at Converse College since 1996. 

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Lyle’s education began at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music education, followed by her master’s degree in vocal performance and opera from The Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. She earned her doctorate in vocal performance and choral conducting at The University of Oregon in

Lyle has many performances to her credit throughout the U.S., Canada and in Europe with such organizations as Baltimore Opera, the Handel Choir of Baltimore, the Vancouver Island Music Festival, the Calgary Bach Festival Society, the Long Bay Symphony, Hilton Head Choral Society, South Carolina Opera and Germany’s Bach Consortium. 

Accompanist Pam McNeil will again be tickling the keys at the grand piano for the Christmas concert.

Pam is a graduate of St. Andrews University and Western Carolina University, where she served as accompanist and had her first experience with the original Moog synthesizer. 

She has played for the Community Chorus, Tryon Little Theater, churches, musicals, parties, friends and (once) a foster sheep. She is currently the organist at Tryon United Methodist Church and works at Saluda Elementary

The Community Chorus is made up of about 75 volunteer vocalists. Anyone who enjoys choral singing is invited to participate. 

Rehearsals this fall are at 7 p.m. on Mondays (Oct. 1 only rehearsal begins at 6:30 p.m.), at Tryon Presbyterian Church, 430 Harmon Field Road, Tryon. 

The annual Christmas concert is set for 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Polk County High School Auditorium. Community Chorus concerts take place each year in April and December, and benefit the Rotary Club of Tryon Scholarship Fund.

More information may be found at

-Submitted by Sandra Sibley