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Carolina Master Chorale performs new work by local composer at Wheelwright

March 6, 2007

The Carolina Master Chorale will present the local premiere of "Directions for Singing," a work by the chorale's composer-in-residence Andrew Fowler, on Saturday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium at Coastal Carolina University.

Admission is $20 for seating on first floor section I; $15 first floor section II and balcony; alumni, senior citizens and students under 18 receive a $5 discount.

Fowler's new work, which celebrates the 300th birthday of the legendary hymn composer Charles Wesley (1707-1788), had its world premiere last month at the Wesley Tercentenary Festival, held in New York's Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.

"Directions for Singing" features 13 Wesley hymn texts, some with traditional tunes and some set to original new music by Fowler. Wesley, who with his brother John led the Methodist movement in Colonial America, is credited as the author of more than 9,000 hymn texts. Among his most famous texts are "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing" and "Christ the Lord is Risen Today."

The title of the work, "Directions for Singing" is taken from the series of seven instructions Wesley formulated to encourage inspirational congregational hymn singing.

The featured soloists who will perform with the chorale, led by musical director Timothy Koch, are celebrated New York vocal artists Stephanie Gregory, soprano, and Joe Chappel, bass-baritone.

The Wesley Tercentenary Festival's selection of Fowler to compose the large-scale choral piece is a notable honor for the native Myrtle Beach composer. Fowler, currently director of music at Trinity United Methodist Church in Conway, has served as director of choral activities at Auburn University at Montgomery and Cornell College, in Mount Vernon, Iowa. He has served on the faculties of the University of North Texas and the University of Texas.

For more information call the Wheelwright Box Office at 349-2502.