Local choirs host prominent conductor in collaborative concert

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Bluegrass Poster

The Buckhannon-Upshur High School Concert Choir led by Jeremiah Smallridge will join Lewis County High School and Glenville State College’s choirs led by Seth Stemple to perform “Come Away to the Skies: A High, Lonesome Mass” by Wes Ramsay and Tim Sharp. 

Audiences will have two opportunities to see this collaborative concert, Tuesday, April 23 in the Glenville State College Fine Arts Auditorium and Wednesday April 24 in Wesley Chapel on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College. Both concerts start at 7 p.m., there is a $2 admission fee.

The choirs will be joined by one of the composers of the work, Dr. Tim Sharp. He will be playing banjo on the concert and will be conducting the choirs. Sharp is the Executive Director of the American Choral Directors Association, the largest choral organization in the world. Dr. Sharp is excited to be returning to West Virginia as he is a graduate of East Fairmont High School.

“Come away to the Skies: A High Lonesome Mass” is a setting of the traditional high church mass which can be found in many Christian denominations such as the Roman Catholic Church as well as protestant congregations like the Lutheran and Episcopalian churches.  The work combines the traditional mass with Southern American hymn tunes and spirituals which are accompanied by the “high lonesome” sound associated with bluegrass music. 

The performances will also showcase native professional baritone Joshua Stubbs as well as local band Key to Adam featuring Adam Moyer (guitar) and Kiara Williams (fiddle). Other instrumentalist of the Mass includes: Josh Runyon (guitar), Ryan Spangenberg (mandolin), Mason Atha (bass), and Austin Broussard on (drum set). 

The doors will open 30 minutes prior to the concert. Don’t miss this exciting event.

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