The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus’ holiday concert at The Cathedral of St. Philip in Buckhead has been a cherished community holiday tradition for more than two decades. This year, the AGMC’s 37th holiday “gift” to metro Atlanta is a fabulous concert featuring arrangements made famous by Barbra Streisand, as well as other new and crowd-pleasers ranging from the Grinch to Franz Biebl’s beloved two-choir “Ave Maria.”
Performances will be Friday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 9 at both 2 and 8 p.m., at The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Rd N.W., Atlanta, GA 30305. A $10 ticket discount is available now through Nov. 9, with a $5 discount off of door prices Nov. 10-Dec. 7. More details about the concert and ticket prices are available at http://www.voicesofnote.org/events/bells-babs-beyond-the-37th-annual-holiday-concert/.
“Bells, BABS & Beyond” is the final concert of director/composer/arranger Kevin Robison’s record 10-year history as the AGMC’s artistic director. “This decade-long commitment by Kevin — our first full-time artistic director — and the sharing of his many talents with our members and audiences has so benefitted us all,” stated John Stegall, chairman of Voices of Note, the administrative umbrella of both the AGMC and its sister group, the five-year-old Atlanta Women’s Chorus.
“We’ve been uplifted by his directing talent, thoughtful planning and collaborative attitude, as well as his gracious sharing of so many new works and unique arrangements of old favorites. It’s exceedingly rare to find such a multi-faceted and inclusive artistic leader; he’s set the bar for both the interim music directors who will complete our 2018-19 season as well as the full-time director we’ll hire to succeed him for our 2018-19 season and beyond.”
Robison announced in late summer that he would be retiring from the AGMC following the holiday concert, to devote more time to composing, arranging, musical theatre and his passion for teaching it.
“I admit that I wanted our holiday concert to be my final one with the AGMC,” Robison said. “It was my first concert 10 years ago, it’s a beautiful and inspiring event in The Cathedral, and it has a large and appreciative audience. I can’t imagine a better way to wrap up a decade of accomplishments, camaraderie and joy as a member of the Voices of Note family.”
A different kind of ‘brass’: Barbra Streisand
Robison’s first AGMC concert was Bells, Brass & Beyond, so it only seemed appropriate to have a related theme for his final one.
“We’ve had input for some time to include songs based on the arrangements of holiday music performed by Barbra Streisand,” Robison said. “So the AGMC creative team and I thought that a concert featuring some of those and titled Bells, BABS & Beyond was just too perfect.” Robison arranged the songs to be as close to the style of Ms. Streisand’s renditions as possible.
Also joining the AGMC will be the highly respected Handbell Choir of Morningside Presbyterian Church, along with the acclaimed guest string quintet featured with the chorus in many recent years.
“One of the great joys of my decade with the chorus has been the opportunity to work with some of Atlanta’s finest instrumental players, which is again the case here,” Robison said. “Our string quintet and long-time percussionist will also be joining us, and I’m thrilled to be collaborating with them all on my last program. It’s been such a great combination for not just me but, more importantly, our audience, singers and players as well.”
Grinch, ice cream appeal to kids of all ages
Kids of all ages will appreciate everything from “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” (expect him to make a guest appearance) to “The Twelve Days After Christmas,” along with the touching “Christmas Memories” and many other songs that will touch the audience’s hearts as they have the chorus’s. And, of course, the Saturday-afternoon matinee wouldn’t be complete without the free ice-cream social following the concert, sponsored again this year by Dr. Peter Cranton of Peachtree Battle Chiropractic.
Tickets now available
Tickets for Bells, BABS & Beyond are available now through the AGMC/Voices of Note website at www.voicesofnote.org. Ticket discounts of $10 are available now through Nov. 9, with a $5 discount for tickets purchased Nov. 10 through Dec. 7. Premium seating is also available. Season tickets for the AGMC, the Atlanta Women’s Chorus or both choruses are also available. Season subscribers receive premium seating and the best value on their purchase.
About Voices of Note
The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, one of the world’s longest-running all-male choruses, is part of Voices of Note, Inc., a not-for-profit organization governing the AGMC and AWC. Voices of Note is a catalyst for social change, providing an opportunity to be inspired, a journey to places in hearts and minds that have yet to be explored, and a voyage into the perspectives of our neighbors, teachers, siblings and friends. Both the AGMC and the AWC are members of GALA, the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses.
Programs for Voices of Note are supported in part by the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. Major support is provided by Turner, Atlanta Magazine, Macy’s and PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP). Additional support is provided by Wells Fargo, Georgia Voice, Brandon D Hunt Design, Dan Lax Media, Saint Mark United Methodist Church, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and Peachtree Battle Chiropractic. A complete listing of financial supporters — and how you can support the mission of the two choruses — can be found on www.voicesofnote.org. For more information, see the website or call (404) 320-1030.