Mercer University Youth Choir to perform annual ‘Sing & Rejoice!’ concert

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Mercer University Youth Choir to perform annual ‘Sing & Rejoice!’ concert

Dr. Kosowski conducting the MU Choir during a practice in the Mercer Music Building.

Dr. Kosowski conducting the MU Choir during a practice in the Mercer Music Building.

Jen Andrews

Dr. Kosowski conducting the MU Choir during a practice in the Mercer Music Building.

Jen Andrews

Jen Andrews

Dr. Kosowski conducting the MU Choir during a practice in the Mercer Music Building.

Ireal James, Staff Writer

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In its 12th season, the Mercer University Youth Choir will host the “Sing & Rejoice!” concert at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Warner Robins Dec. 10-11.

The Mercer University Youth Choir (MUYC) is a community initiative by Mercer’s Townsend School of Music. The program is committed to helping children develop their musical and expressive artistry through the gift and practice of choral music.

“The Mercer University Youth Choir is one of the most visible community service organizations in the Greater Middle Georgia region,” said Richard Kosowski, an assistant professor of music at Townsend and the choir director in an email.

Kosowski began his involvement with MUYC in 2007 after his son joined the group’s Preparatory Choir. He originally served as a parent chaperone/volunteer and the foreign language diction coach for the ensembles.

He began conducting the choirs in the spring of 2011.

“It is a privilege to perform music and to call music a career through regular performance. I am extremely lucky because I am allowed to experience the gift of watching these young people mature into young adults, and that I play in an important role in each child’s musical development,” Kosowski in an email said. “Plus, I am allowed to do this in a nurturing environment of Mercer University.”

The professor is accompanied by graduate student Grace George in preparation for the “Sing & Rejoice!” concert.

There are more than 60 choristers in the MUYC. The singers live in Macon-Bibb County and the surrounding regions. Some choristers even drive over one hour to and from choir rehearsals throughout the week.

These performers, aging from 8 to 17, consist of children from public schools, private schools, and the homeschool environment.

“Sing & Rejoice!” is a Christmas concert that will incorporate foreign language.

“We will be singing in 4 languages, plus music from the 14th century, which is Spanish-inflicted Latin,” Kosowski said in an email.

In addition to foreign language, the concert will include Mercer students who perform with string instruments, flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, French horn and percussion in addition to piano, electronic synthesizer and, of course, pipe organ instruments.

“The ‘Sing & Rejoice’ concerts are special because they involve spoken scriptural readings, poetry, and other commentary to tell the Christmas story beginning with the Annunciation through the Holy Family’s Escape to Egypt to connect the musical selections,” Kosowski said.

The audience is also encouraged to sing carols with the choir during their performance.

“The story is meant for an audience of all ages, so it is not ‘kid-sized’ in any way,” Kosowski said in an email. “It is a story told by children for everyone. It is a delightful concert that [will] last about 75 minutes.”

For more information on the ‘Sing & Rejoice!’ concert, please visit the Townsend School of Music’s website at music.mercer.edu.

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