On Saturday, Dec. 2, East Tennessee State University’s Holiday Choral concert will present “Sure on This Shining Night.”
The concert will be held at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church in downtown Johnson City with two shows at 4 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m. The choirs that are in the performance include the ETSU Chorale, Greyscale, the BucsWorth men’s choir and the Belle’s women’s choir, conducted by Matthew Potterton and Alan Stevens.
“We started rehearsing in August for much of our music,” Choir Director Matthew Potterton said. “We did have a fall concert, so much of our early rehearsal was for fall music. But we did start some of this Christmas music then, but most of it was after Oct. 20.”
Director of both the ETSU Chorale and Belle’s women’s choir, Potterton said the type of music that will be heard in the concert is a wide variety from early Renaissance to contemporary pop music and everything in between. Potterton also said that the title of the concert, “Sure on This Shining Night,” is a piece by Morten Lauridsen, who is a contemporary classical choral composer.
“My favorite piece is probably that one,” said Potterton.
According to Potterton, the tradition of putting on a holiday concert is very long, at least 35 years if not longer. He said that his favorite part about directing the choirs is making music at the highest level possible.
“The choirs here at ETSU are just phenomenal, and the level of music making is so high,” Potterton said. “It’s just a joy every day to go in and make music. That’s different than just singing the notes correctly. Making music is something that stems from the heart and the soul. To me that’s the joy of creating music.”
With choirs that make music at the highest level possible, performing a wide variety of holiday music, the ETSU Holiday Choral concert will certainly bring the holiday spirit to the audience.
“I hope that they are moved to be in the spirit of Christmas,” Potterton said. “They’re going to hear varying styles of music from African pieces to Renaissance classical pieces to contemporary classical pieces, and all of it done at a very high level. I hope that they appreciate the music that we are about to make.”