Butler choir to perform with Shawnee musicians tonight

VANDALIA — For just the second time, Butler Symphonic Choir members will be joining their voices in song with other high school singers and musicians from the area to present a special two-day concert. 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.

The group will present two performances. The first performance will be Thursday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the Butler High School Performing Arts Theater. The second performance will be Monday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church at 201 N. Limestone Street in Springfield. Tickets will be only sold at the door the night of the performances. Admission is $5.