Tickets are on sale now for the Catskill Choral Society’s December program, which will feature J.S. Bach’s “Magnificat,” as well as other seasonal selections. The December concerts will be led by Dr. R. Colin Armstrong, who joins CCS as its music director for the 2013-14 season.
According to a media release, “Armstrong’s passion for music inspires him to instilling that passion in those he teaches and directs. He’s also a lover of language, eager to challenge his students and choristers with sacred and secular music in European, Asian and African dialects from contemporary and early eras.”
Of the 60-member choral group, which is in its 44th year of performing in the Oneonta area, Armstrong said working with chorus members has been “a great deal of fun.”
“They are great people and very responsive,” he said in the release. “We laugh a lot and make some really good music.” The group offers him the opportunity to “work with a variety of ages and perform larger works” written for choral groups.
Armstrong brings with him a lifetime of musical training, beginning as a trumpet player in elementary in his native Vancouver, Canada. He continued his musical education in college, earning a Bachelor of Music in trumpet performance and a Bachelor of Education at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. In addition to leading the Catskill Choral Society, Armstrong also recently began his tenure as Hartwick College choir director.
Following college, Armstrong shared his musical talents as a band, choir and musical theater teacher for middle and high school programs in Alberta. Later, Armstrong attended Canada’s preeminent graduate choral conducting program, studying with Leonard Ratzlaf and earning his master’s degree in music. He moved to the United States to pursue his doctoral degree in choral music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2009, Armstrong joined the music faculty of Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa.
Armstrong said he has been impressed by the Oneonta area’s rich artistic culture and variety.
“There so much going on — in the arts and in general,” he said in the release. “It’s been great meeting so many people and seeing so much talent.”
Armstrong will make his Catskill Choral Society debut at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the First United Methodist Church at 66 Chestnut St. A second performance will follow at 3 p.m. Dec. 7. The group will be joined by a chamber orchestra and soloists Johana Arnold, Brad Hougham, Steven Nanni, Barbara Paterson and Kasey Stewart.
Tickets are available at The Plains, Green Earth and Artware in Oneonta; in Cooperstown at Augur’s Corner Bookstore; in Unadilla at Country Computers & Publishing; in Sidney at Corky’s Wine & Spirits; from any CCS members; and at www.catskillchoralsociety.org.
For more information, call 431-6060 or visit www.catskillchoralsociety.org.