Alexandria Choral society sings, raises high notes


At this stage in our cultural history, we are too often subjected to over processed, technologically produced, and commercially packaged sounds that pass as music. It can be as tiresome as canned green beans. The Alexandria Choral Society, however, is the musical equivalent of a farmers market on a sunny spring morning.

Now in season 38, the ACS held its annual fundraiser on Sunday, May 4. Supporters partook of wine and cheese while enjoying some samples of the groups chamber-style music. Patrons were also treated to a fashion show, a silent auction, and several fashion boutique vendors.

Former member Helena Banas-Jones sat among other patrons, enjoying the sounds of the chamber group and piano accompaniment. Mrs. Banas-Jones remarked, I love music, and I just enjoy going to live concerts so much. Music is so uplifting. New Choral Society member Nicole Decarli sang in the 5-woman schola that entertained the supporters. Later, she and others from the group modeled the fashions by Kiskadee. We always do something different, Ms. Decarli commented. Our next concert will feature the words of Shakespeare and Marlowe, humorously set to jazz music. Interim music director Neil Weston added, We perform a wide cross-section of music, and we try to give a fresh twist to live choral music.

The group performs several times a year in venues around the City of Alexandria. Its repertory includes classical composers such as Mozart, Bach, and Handel, as well as contemporary ones such as John Rutter and George Shearing. It also performs commissioned works in the chamber music style. In addition to the 55-member adult chorus , there is a childrens contingent of about 40 members which is under the direction of founding director Kevin Carr. The two choruses perform both separately and together.

The groups next concert is at 4:00 on May 11, Mothers Day, at the Westminster Presbyterian Church on Cameron Mills Road. For those interested in joining the group, auditions happen each year in August. Music lovers can find more information the Alexandria Choral Society on its website,