The special musical extravaganza featuring the Butler Symphonic Choir and the Shawnee High School Choir and Orchestra planned for Thursday, April 28 now has a new location. The second night of the two-day event, May 2, also has a new venue. Thursday's performance will be at the Butler High School Performing Arts Theater. Monday will be held at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Springfield.
More than 140 singers and 18 orchestra members will participate in the event, featuring Butler High School and Shawnee High School students.
Butler Symphonic Choir Director Kevin Wilson says the concert, which will feature individual pieces from each group as they prepare for the state Ohio Music Education Association contest and a collaboration between the schools of a multi-movement work entitled “Sunrise Mass” by Ola Gjeilo, has been in the works since the fall.
“This came about from our fall concert, where the Symphonic Choir sang a piece called “The Ground.” I had known of the piece when I chose it for the fall concert, but did not know until this year that it was part of a larger work called The Sunrise Mass. A little research and listening online, I became very motivated to see if we could pull off performing the entire work. The problem was going to be the orchestra. Vandalia does not have a strings program, but I spoke with a good friend of mine, Lydia Smith-Lockwood, the choir director at Shawnee High School, about possibly collaborating on this. She also directs the orchestras at Shawnee. We decided to join forces,” Wilson said.