KCC 60th anniversary choral concert event “O Magnificent Joy!” is April 30

A text slide promoting KCC's upcoming "O Magnificent Joy!" choral concert.

Kellogg Community College will continue its celebration of the college’s 60th anniversary this month with a 60th anniversary concert event in downtown Battle Creek.

The concert event is titled “O Magnificent Joy!” and will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 30, at First Presbyterian Church, 111 Capital Ave. NE, Battle Creek. The event is free and open to the public; light refreshments will be served at the concert’s conclusion.

Dr. Gerald Blanchard, director of choral activities and music area coordinator at KCC and artistic director of the production, said the concert is about celebration.

“It’s about the celebration of our history as a choral organization, it’s about our history of making music accessible to all, and it’s about our history of choral collaboration,” Blanchard said. “Most importantly it’s about the joy we find in making beautiful music together as a community of singers.”

KCC’s choral program began the year of the College’s founding as Battle Creek Community College in 1956, and was first led by Alfred G. Richards, who served as the founding director through the late 1950s. He was succeeded by several other directors until the arrival of the esteemed Gordon Smith in the mid 1960s. Smith served as director of vocal music until his retirement from the college in 1985.

Blanchard said the College’s choral programming evolved from a music club into a more formal singing organization because the founding members “found great joy through the choral tradition,” a tradition honored through the upcoming concert.

“I decided to title this concert ‘O Magnificent Joy!’ for that very purpose,” Blanchard said, “as we all find joy through the art of singing together as a community.”

The concert event is one of a continuing series of events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the College. From the first graduating class of just 18 students in 1958, the college now serves more than 10,000 students each year from campuses in Battle Creek, Albion, Coldwater and Hastings, as well as online. Compositions featured in the concert program include:

  • “Jubilate Deo,” by Sherri Porterfield
  • “All That Hath Life and Breath Praise Ye the Lord,” by Rene Clausen
  • “Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord,” by Julie Knowles
  • “We are the Music-Makers,” by Patti Drennan
  • “A Gaelic Blessing,” by John Rutter
  • “Dance, Dance, Dance,” by Mary Donnelly
  • “Dreaming” (from “Sketches”), by Amy Beach
  • “Fanfare,” by Nicolas Jacques Lemmens]
  • “Ride the Chariot,” arranged by Andre Thomas
  • “River in Judea,” arranged by John Leavitt
  • “A Scottish Tribute,” arranged by Linda Spevacek
  • “Papageno Papagena Duet” (from “The Magic Flute”), by W. A. Mozart
  • “O Lord, Arise,” by Thomas Weelkes
  • “Forest Peace (Waldesnacht),” by Johannes Brahms
  • “Embraceable You,” by George Gershwin
  • “I’ve Got Peace Like a River,” arranged by Kirby Shaw
  • “A New Blessing,” by Mark T. Deen

Performers include KCC choirs including the KCC Choral Union, the Kellogg Singers, the Women of KCC, and the Branch County Community Chorus; student performers including soprano Amanda Adams and baritone Eric Frost; and, under the artistic direction of Dr. Mark Wells, guest ensemble the Battle Creek Master Singers, which will perform three compositions with the KCC choirs. Accompanying the vocalists will be collaborative pianist Nancy Brown, faculty organist Katharine Cary and staff accompanist Cynthia Garn.

The event will also include a freewill offering to raise funds for KCC music programming and initiatives, and will serve as a kickoff for fundraising efforts supporting the KCC Choral Union’s Spring 2018 concert tour of Michigan and Minnesota.

For more information or to learn more about KCC’s Music Program and upcoming KCC music events and initiatives, visit www.kellogg.edu/music or contact the College’s Arts and Communication offices at 269-565-7859.

About Music at KCC

The Kellogg Community College music area has five choral opportunities, two theatrical ensembles and two instrumental ensembles. In addition to the ensembles, KCC offers student and community members individualized music lessons in voice and instrumental music, monthly master classes, guest artist recital series and events, student and faculty recitals, small instrumental ensembles and other special events. All KCC students have the opportunity to take private music lessons in any number of instruments including voice studies and conducting. Our students receive rigorous instruction from a team of professional music division faculty who prepares them for performance in studio seminars, recitals, academic and professional auditions or for self-enrichment purposes. For more information about studying music at KCC, contact Dr. Gerald Blanchard at 269-965-3931 ext. 2566 or email blanchardg@kellogg.edu.

For more news about Kellogg Community College, view our latest press releases online at https://daily.kellogg.edu/category/news-releases.