Opera singers performing in a gospel choir might seem an unusual blend of singing styles, but the results are dramatic for the Knoxville Opera Gospel Choir.
The choir, managed by Michael Rodgers, performs at Pellissippi State Community College on Sunday, Feb. 26, 4-6 p.m. The event takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
The performance is part of the college’s celebration of Black History Month. The presentation is sponsored by the offices of Access and Diversity and Student Life and Recreation. The event is free, and the community is encouraged to attend.
“When our first performance was over,” said Jeanie Melton, choir conductor, “people were just lingering, like they couldn’t believe what had just happened, like they had experienced something out of this world.”
The choir was organized in 2009 at the request of Brian Salesky, Knoxville Opera director, and Cesar Stair, then president of the board of directors. The group has since performed at various events, including Knoxville Opera Goes to Church at Greater Warner Tabernacle and the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert at the Bijou Theatre. The gospel choir also performs at this April’s Rossini Festival.
“We’ll be bringing about 40 singers to Pellissippi State,” Melton said. “We have some former opera singers and classically trained vocalists and will do contemporary gospel, Negro spirituals, and crossover music.”
Members of the Pellissippi State community look forward to the event.
“It is very exciting to have this exceptional choir perform at Pellissippi State,” said Gayle Wood, director of Access and Diversity.
“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.
Free parking is available in any lot designated “Open.”
For more information, contact Gayle Wood, (865) 539-7160 or email@example.com. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State, (865) 694-6607 or firstname.lastname@example.org.