Tuscaloosa orchestra performs at DHS

Published 10:39 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra performed at Demopolis High School’s gymnasium Sunday night and featured a number of special guests.

John Clanton served as the guest conductor. A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, Clanton served a 23-year career in the Army music program. He spent most of the last 10 years of his career on the conducting staffs of The U.S. Army Band (Pershing’s Own) and The U.S. Army Field Band in Washington, D.C., serving as principal conductor of the Army’s premiere choruses, the Army Chorus and Soldiers’ Chorus.

The Prentice Concert Chorale, a vocal performance group from Tuscaloosa made up of about 55 volunteer community members, also performed in the concert.

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“I noticed, looking through some records, that we have done some things in Demopolis before,” said TSO spokesperson Elizabeth McGuire. “I called the Two Rivers Arts Council, and I talked to Carolyn Cowling, and she was immediately receptive. We have five concerts a year that we do for the public, and we told her that Demopolis could have one of these concerts, and she chose our Christmas concert.

“Originally, we were supposed to perform at First Baptist Church, but they had their concert on the same night. Demopolis High School really stepped up and helped us. They even loaned us some of their chairs and stands and percussion equipment. They’ve been very, very kind to us.

“We feel the need to branch out more into the general communities outside of Tuscaloosa,” she said. “The people here have been so friendly to us! Hopefully, we will be back. We’d loved to do something again next season.”

Guest soloist Luvada Harrison also performed Sunday night. She is now a voice professor at Stillman College following a 20-year career in New York City, performing in numerous operas and with many symphonies across the country.

“This was my debut with the Tuscaloosa Symphony, you might say,” Harrison said. “This is just my second year in Tuscaloosa.

“(The Demopolis concert) was fun! I enjoyed it! It was an opportunity to perform, and there were a great bunch of musicians. The intent was to have fun, and that’s what we did! It sounded wonderful!”

For ticket or schedule information about the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra, visit the Web site www.tsoonline.org or call (205) 752-5515.