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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo This year's ACO Chorale is 42 voices strong and will present its holiday concert on Dec. 7.

"Everyone has a voice and the capacity to sing," says Denice Parkhurst, director of the Arts Center of the Ozarks Chorale. "I love working with like-minded people in our community who come together to sing. I enjoy picking quality music and building a program for the audience. I enjoy shaping music and pushing singers to another level of excellence in performance."

"The Chorale not only gives me the opportunity to sing once a week, it keeps me connected with some of the best people I know," agrees Brandon Hamilton, a tenor who has been with the group for three years. "People should attend the Chorale concert to witness holiday spirit in both song and community!"

FAQ

ACO Chorale:

‘A Very Merry Christmas

WHEN — 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7

WHERE — Arts Center of the Ozarks, 214 S. Main St. in Springdale

COST — $5-$10

INFO — 751-5441, acozarks.org

Hamilton moved back to Northwest Arkansas from Nashville, Tenn., and soon returned to the ACO after a 22-year hiatus to appear in the 2017 summer musical "Kiss Me, Kate." "It was during this time that fellow cast mates told me about the Chorale," he says.

Parkhurst moved back to Northwest Arkansas from Maine in 2005, began singing with the Chorale in the fall of 2006 and was asked to be director in 2008. In Maine, she not only taught choral music but was the director of a community choir, the Greater Freeport Community Chorus. Nowadays, she's the choir/music teacher at Helen Tyson Middle School in Springdale, director of the school musicals -- last year, they did "Once on This Island Jr." -- and is Tyson Middle School Travel Club advisor. With national certification for early adolescent to adult in choral music, she's put her bachelor's degree in music from John Brown University and master's degree in music education from the University of Arkansas to good use.

"Singing is therapeutic, is an art form that builds community, and is an expressive outlet for participants," Parkhurst says. "For this concert, we have 42 singers from all walks of life -- financial analysts, veterinarian, stay-at-home moms, students, Walmart and J.B. Hunt employees, bankers, bartenders, coding experts, nurses, etc. I love the Arts Center of the Ozarks and its contribution to the community of Northwest Arkansas in the area of singing, acting, art -- as a way to build community."

The theme of the holiday concert is "A Very Merry Christmas," and selections will include "a variety of beloved Christmas songs and classical holiday literature," she says.

"We are delighted to have the Don Tyson School of Innovation High School Choir as a guest choir on the concert," Parkhurst adds. "We will also do a joint piece with the group. The ACO Chorale will end the concert with the John Rutter 'Gloria' accompanied by brass and percussion.

"This should be wonderful holiday concert!"

NAN What's Up on 12/01/2019

Print Headline: 'A Very Merry Christmas'

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