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ART BEAT: Gwinnett Choral Guild launches its 30th season

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Renee Wilson-Wicker is the new Artistic Director of the Gwinnett Choral Guild and its first woman in this position. (Special Photo)

The Gwinnett Choral Guild is one of Gwinnett’s oldest performing arts organizations which will celebrate its 30th year with the upcoming 2013-14 season. An Anniversary Concert will be given on Oct. 12, followed by concerts on Dec. 14 and Feb. 15. This season will be the GCG’s first under the leadership of its first female artistic director.

Renee Wilson-Wicker comes to the organization with an illustrious background. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis in vocal music education from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, and a master’s degree in voice performance from the renowned Manhattan School of Music in New York City. She is a member of Georgia Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education and American Choral Directors Association. She has served as State Choral Chair for GMEA, GMEA Vice President for All-State Events and is a certified choral adjudicator.

Her goals for GCG are both practical and artistic.

“I would like to grow The Guild not only in numbers of singers but also in depth and scope of music being performed,” Wilson-Wicker said. “There is a history of performances at Piccolo Spoletto, Spivey Hall and other great places. I’d like to bring these types of opportunities back. There is also a desire for achievement within the membership, and I want to bring that to fruition. I would also like to see The Guild recognized as a ‘musical contender’ within the arts community — the group in which people want to sing.”

Another goal is to bring in more young artists, young voices, into the organization, and the call is out for new singers of any age to join the group. Requirements are described as being “passionate musicians with choral singing experience, ability to read music and willingness to perform at the highest possible musical level.” Members do not have to reside in Gwinnett and rehearsals are on Monday evenings. Interested musicians can contact the GCG at info@gwinnettchoralguild.org.

The first performance marking the 30th anniversary is special for the organization. As well as being a landmark representing stability and longevity, the concert itself will include alumni, founding director Randy Wilbur, and members of the Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology Honor Orchestra.

“Our 30th anniversary performance focuses on ‘Music of the Masters,’” Wilson-Wicker said. “We will perform some of the great choral pieces of all time. To choose one particular piece as a favorite would be difficult. But I am excited about the messages each piece brings, not only musically but also in the text. This performance will be unique because of sharing it with the GSMST Honor Orchestra, who will be adding more musical beauty by accompanying several of our pieces. I truly love exposing young musicians to the great pieces of music and giving them the opportunity to see the wider realms of musical beauty.”

For more information about the Oct. 12 Anniversary Concert and the entire GCG Season, or if you would like to become a member, visit www.gwinnettchoralguild.org.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.