The Smoky Valley Men’s Choir needs no modifier. It has become a phrase unto itself, a metaphor for superb. Or brief: That hour the other night at Bethany Church seemed like a minute. The concert we heard with several hundred others on October 9 was, as expected, an exercise in delight. Those who missed it, or want more, may enjoy a shorter performance Sunday, Oct. 25 at Assaria Lutheran Church.
Two more concerts are scheduled in December, far fewer than the demand for them. But this 40-member group is a community Choir, composed of men who have families and jobs and long strings of other obligations that make it impossible to coordinate and commit to the itinerary of a rock group – which is roughly the measure of their popularity. We can discuss the technical aspects until we’re green at the gills – the Choir’s phrasing and intonation, its precise inflection and harmony, the pace of certain melodies, the incredible range of its high tenors, superior accompaniment, the richness and balance in its sound, the variety in its repertoire, and more; in the end a Choir concert boils down to the near-perfect experience, a precise confluence of musicians and music.
Put another way, they’re better than good. As noted, if you missed the concert at Bethany Church, opportunities remain to fix that. Leah Ann Anderson, the Choir’s director, says the group has scheduled three additional performances this autumn, including two with a holiday flavor.
On Sunday, Oct. 25, the Men’s Choir will perform during music talent night at Assaria Lutheran Church. The event begins at 7:00 and for their part, the Choir will sing four or five numbers from their Hyllningsfest program.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10 the Men’s Choir will sing Christmas literature in a half-hour performance at Bethany Home. The venue (dining room) is limited in seating.
On Saturday, Dec. 12, the Men’s Choir joins the annual Old Fashioned Christmas Festival lineup at the Swedish Pavilion in Heritage Square. The Choir will perform popular Christmas music as part of the Festival’s annual, multi-group holiday concert. This event begins at 7 p.m.
The additional performances will be shorter than the group’s hour-long Hyllningsfest concert. But the pleasure of it, even in smaller doses, is bound to be just as intense.
– JOHN MARSHALL