Community Chorus to hold Spring Concert at Polk County High School

Published 12:09 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

‘Off with the Old, On with the New’ set for this Sunday

COLUMBUS – On May 7, the Community Chorus will hold their Spring Concert entitled “Off with the Old, On with the New,” featuring a mixture of classical music, spirituals and modern musical standards. The concert is set for 3 p.m at the Polk County High School auditorium, and proceeds will support the Rotary Club of Tryon Scholarship Fund.

The Community Chorus is directed by Dr. Brennan Szafron, the musical director and organist at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Tryon. 

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We’ve called it ‘Off with the Old, On with the New,’ because we’ve taken pieces in the choir’s library and added new ones,” Szafron said of the upcoming concert.  “It also highlights some of the changes, including the fact that our accompanist of the last 40 years is taking a semester off, and for this concert, we are joined by one of my students, Makena James.” 

Accompanist Makena James, a native of Asheville, is currently the interim organist at Tryon Presbyterian Church and is the youngest member of the Blue Ridge Ringers, a group of well-known handbell ringers that performs throughout the area. James is getting some of her first experience accompanying a choir at the Spring Concert and is enjoying learning and working with her teacher, Dr. Szafron. 

“I’m taking a gap year while I await to attend the Thornton Music School at the University of Southern California,” says James. “So I took the opportunity to come and study with Dr. Szafron.”

Community Chorus President Linda Lee is excited about this weekend’s concert.

“[The Spring Concert] is a gem,” says Lee.  “We will have something for everyone. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The concert will feature numerous soloists, as well as clarinet, saxophone, and percussion ensembles led by PCHS musical director Cindy Gilbert. 

The “old” will be represented in the concert by selected classical pieces from Handel, Vivaldi, and Mendelssohn. In addition, spirituals, including Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho sung by soloist Michelle Scrivner, will be performed.

The “new” section of the show will feature a choral medley from a pair of the most popular musicals in recent memory, Wicked and Hamilton. Other new arrangements will include the rock classic Walk Like an Egyptian by the Bangles, featuring the PCHS percussion ensemble. 

The Community Chorus is a nonprofit organization founded in 1973, and is made up entirely of volunteers.. Proceeds support the Rotary Club of Tryon Scholarship Fund. Tickets can be purchased from Rotary Club members or at the door. For more information, visit