Fall Choral Concert to feature new men's, women's choirs

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JOHNSON CITY (Oct. 2, 2013) – East Tennessee State University’s Fall Choral Concert this weekend will feature the debut of two new vocal ensembles, as well as that of the university’s new choral director. 

A Men’s Choir and Women’s Choir will give their first public performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, 201 E. Market St.  Also appearing will be the popular ETSU Chorale and the new select vocal jazz ensemble Greyscale.  Highlights of the program include works by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Quilter, Vaughan Williams, Whitacre, Ticheli and others.

Dr. Matthew Potterton will make his first appearance as director of Choral and Vocal Activities for the ETSU Department of Music.  He directs the Women’s Choir and ETSU Chorale.  Dr. Alan Stevens, associate director of Choral Activities at ETSU, directs the Men’s Choir and Greyscale, which gave its debut performance in September in the inaugural concert of the “Java and Jazz” series at ETSU.

An associate professor of Music, Potterton comes to ETSU after teaching and conducting at Baker University, Baldwin City, Kan.; the University of California at Irvine; Carroll College, Waukesha, Wis.; Alverno College, Milwaukee; and the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he earned his doctoral degree.  He has also taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels.  Potterton has appeared as a tenor soloist in recital and on stage, and has performed in Europe, Asia and throughout North America and as a member of various ensembles.

The Men’s and Women’s choirs were formed this year to provide the university a non-auditioned choir, giving students from all over campus an opportunity to sing, according to Potterton.

“You do not have to have previous singing experience to be a part of these groups, just a passion to want to make music with fellow students,” he said.  “In previous years, it was hard for some to dedicate the time it took to be a part of Chorale, an auditioned group meant for people who have had significant music training.  However, I want everyone to have an opportunity to sing.

“The reaction has been very positive.  Students who are science majors or math majors who have not been able to fit Chorale into their schedules in the past are now able to be a part of one of these groups.  There are also students who do not have lots of singing experience who likely would not have made it through the auditions for Chorale but want to share their voice.  All are welcome, and we are making great music!”

Potterton says there are 40 to 45 members in each of the choirs.  “We want those numbers to grow, and we feel that they will once the word gets out that there is a non-auditioned group that provides this opportunity to sing.”

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students with ID.

For more information, contact the ETSU Department of Music at (423) 439-4276 or .  For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.

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