Hickory – PBS television programs often begin and end with the announcement that, “This program was made possible by (financial supporters) and viewers like you.” This anniversary season of the Hickory Choral Society provides an opportunity for us to reflect on 45 years of singing and ask the question: What and who have made HCS possible? Clearly, a founding conductor’s vision, committed singers, 45 Years Of Lovecontributing members, a talented board and staff, enthusiastic volunteers — and, of course, viewers and listeners like you — have made this all possible. Yet, underlying all those contributions is a love for singing. The word “amateur” or “amateur-ish” often has negative connotations related to ability. But when defined literally, “amateur” means to participate in an activity out of love for the endeavor (Latin for “love” is “amare”). This love for singing and love for an artform helps express ideas not possible through words alone. It’s an exciting endeavor, and I am confident most people reading this article have had transformational, goosebumps moments while attending live music performances. We keep coming back for more, waiting to experience again feelings of acknowledgement and wholeness made possible by the choral art.

We hope our upcoming Under the Sails Concert, underwritten by the City of Hickory, will provide even more of those transformational moments for you. The program titled “45 Years of Love (Songs)” will feature music from all six decades of the choir’s existence — from Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (1970s) to “Just Sing” from the 2020 movie The Trolls World Tour. Additional music made famous by Louis Armstrong, Doris Day, Journey, Whitney Houston, Carly Simon, Rascal Flatts, Celine Dion, Bette Midler, Idina Menzel, Adele, and more will round out the program. Lyrics focusing on love and perseverance are present in all the songs, and those themes will also be present as select choir members share brief nuggets of the choir’s history as we journey chronologically, decade-by-decade, from 1978 to the present.

As with the PBS television program announcement, the Under the Sails concert will serve to acknowledge all in our community who have loved singing, loved the choral art, and helped make the first 45 years of the Hickory Choral Society possible. We invite you to join us Sunday, May 21, 5 pm, at Union Square in downtown Hickory.

Hickory Choral Society concerts are free and open to the public. Bring your picnic and chairs and enjoy our music! For more information contact HCS: www.hickorychoralsociety.org, noteworthy@hickorychoralsociety.org, (828) 322-2210
Photo, Dr. Ryan Luhrs