Chorale performs with Shreveport Symphony

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Members of the Panola College Chorale performed with choirs from the Ark-La-Tex area and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, Sept. 16, at First Baptist Church in Shreveport, La.

Presented by YouthCUE, “Look at the World: Timeless Music, Ageless Beauty” was an incredible two-hour musical extravaganza.  The 225-voice mass choir consisted of singers from Panola College, East Texas Baptist University, Southern Arkansas University, San Antonio Youth Chorale, First Baptist Church and Broadmoor Presbyterian Church.  The group was directed by YouthCUE founder, Randy Edwards.  The program included a poem performed by Angelique Feaster Evans and several musical selections performed by soloist Jonathan Burton, as well as the Shreveport Symphony.

The concert was an awareness-builder and fundraiser for Volunteers of America in North Louisiana.  YouthCUE presented the VOA with a donation check for $10,000 and the performers also presented a check for $2,156.78.

Panola students rehearsed more than 20 hours outside of class before attending mass choir rehearsals in Shreveport on September 15 and 16.  Sydnee Taylor, a Panola College music student said, “Rehearsals were every day and they were very long, but it was so much fun to hear our group get better each day.  The songs were powerful and the performance made every rehearsal completely worth it.  I hope everyone gets to experience something like this one day — a sense of fullness and being a part of something much bigger than yourself.”

“The performance was inspiring and uplifting to the listening audience,” said Sandra Bauer, Panola College music professor and director of choral activities. Bauer is serving as president of the Texas Two-Year College Choral Directors Association this year.

Panola College music students performing in the concert included Sydnee Taylor, Carthage; Dakota Brown, Marshall; Lucy Eke, Lagos, Nigeria; Hunter Moon, Beckville; Whitney Ramsey, Center; Maggie Sims, Center; Pamela Painter, Marshall; Loren Caserta, Beckville; Aaron Tello, Center; Emma Harden, Bullard; Afrikina Dotson, Center; Carrie Lilly, New Caney; Toluwani Ayodele, Lagos, Nigeria; Victor Chinaka, Lagos, Nigeria; Funminiyi Alabi, Loma Linda, California, and Kacia Johnson, Tatum.

Several Panola College Chorale Alumni as well as Mia Sartor and Panola College Band Director Dwaine Hubbard also performed with the group. Panola music student Emma Harden, said, “It was great to meet new people and see Panola graduates that I haven’t seen in a while.  I am very thankful that I was able to be a part of this amazing event and I will remember it for years to come.”

Bauer said, “I am very thankful that we were invited to participate in this event.  Our students took pride in their preparation and performance.  They represented Panola College and our community very well.  It was also very humbling to see so many community members supporting our singers at the concert.”

Panola music student, Kacia Johnson said, “During the performance I was extremely emotional.  I had tears falling down my face during the last song because it was so powerful.  Every voice and every instrument came together to create such raw emotion.  If given the chance to do this again, I definitely would, 100 percent.  It was an amazing experience.”

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