Opera singers performing in a gospel choir might seem an unusual blend of singing styles, but the results have been dramatic for the Knoxville Opera Gospel Choir.
“When our first performance was over,” said Jeanie Melton, choir director, “people were just lingering, like they couldn’t believe what had just happened, like they had experienced something out of this world.”
The Knoxville Opera Gospel Choir performs at Pellissippi State Community College on Sunday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Pellissippi Campus. The campus is at 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
The performance is one of several events taking place as part of the college’s Black History Month celebration.
The group received nine standing ovations during that first concert in 2009, and the choir is even better now, says Melton.
“We’ll be bringing 45-50 singers to Pellissippi State,” she said. “We have some former opera singers and classically trained vocalists.”
The choir performs a number of anthems and Negro spirituals: “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” “Glorious Everlasting,” “Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit,” “I’ve Been ’Buked,” “Rockin’ Jerusalem, “He Is King of Kings.” The group also presents some contemporary crossovers, among them, “Make Me a Believer.”
“It is very exciting to have this exceptional choir perform at Pellissippi State,” said Gayle Wood, director of Pellissippi State’s Access and Diversity Office, sponsor of the event.
“Listening to this choir will be a powerful experience for those attending,” said Annie Gray. “Plus, the venue is terrific—the Clayton Performing Arts Center offers outstanding acoustical features.” Gray is an associate professor of English at Pellissippi State and chair of the Education/Outreach Committee for the Knoxville Opera Board of Directors.
The performance is free and open to the public. Free parking also is available in any lot designated “Open.”
For more information, contact Gayle Wood, (865) 539-7160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.