Tenor Carol Barfield, right, and alto Tamara Marsh perform solos with the song “Gospel Magnificat” by Patti Drennan at Saturday evening’s concert at Trinity Episcopal Church. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]
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Kids help choral society wrap up season

The Bay Area Choral Society closed out their 2023-24 season with a giant crescendo that reverberated in the ears and smiles of school.

Ed Hogan, a Carrollton, Georgia composer who wrote a commissioned piece for the society about the Forgotten Coast called The Maker’s Song, and Dr. Ian Heming, the society’s pianist, joined Dana Langford, the society’s conductor, for a special Friday morning concert and workshop with second and third graders from Port St. Joe Elementary School, and from Franklin County Schools, at First United Methodist Church of Port St. Joe. 

Sponsored by the PTO of Port St. Joe Elementary School and Duren’s Piggly Wiggly, the morning turned out to be a delight for both the musicians and the kids.

“It was a roomful of kids,” said Hogan. “We did songs that we thought they were family with. Dana did some general music stuff where you clap hands and keep the beat, from her years and years in the classroom. She just engaged with them.

“I did 15 minutes where I walked them through the instruments of the orchestra,” he said. “Dr. Ian did these piano excerpts for them, he played three different short pieces with Dana asking the kids what emotions do you think the music brings out in you, and the answers we got were fabulous. I was amazed at how well these children were able to give words to their responses.

“One kid, on this really frenetic piece, that we called on, said ‘it sounds competitive,’ which I thought was pretty dang advanced for a third grader,” Hogan said. “And the one right before him said ‘it sounds like film music to me,” and Ian commented that he thought that was an adept observation because most film music doesn’t have a lot of melodic material, it’s simply there to provide an emotional foundation of dialogue or action,, and that’s sort of the nature of that piece. It didn’t have a lot of melody stuff, it was just a lot of clusters and a lot of frenetic, scary stuff.”

In his song The Maker’s Song, whose commission was funded by The Tapper Foundation, Hogan referred in the lyrics to being “the children of God’s hands,“ and of not forgetting the beauty of children’s voices.

Both the Friday evening concert in Port St. Joe and the one Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church in Apalachicola, were well-attended, with the songs all under the theme of “Celebrate Music…Why We Sing!”

In addition to the three dozen members of the choral society, the singers were joined by musical accompaniment from flutist Pamela Bereuter, oboist Nicholas Kanipe,horn players A.C. Caruthers and Thomas Langston, trumpeter Benjamin Dubbert, percussionist Darci Wright, bass player Miranda Hughes, electric guitarist Josh Hall, acoustic guitarist Marilyn Freeman and alto saxophonist Sara Flowers. 

Dan Paulson offered the narration as the program included a range of styles, from modern pop tunes like “People Got to Be Free,” to jazz hits like “What A Wonderful World,” to Christian melodies like “Amazing Grace” and “Gospel Magnificat.”

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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