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Area singers ready for upcoming Academy Chorale and Chamber Society performance

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STORY WRITTEN BY TARA LYNN JOHNSON 
For 21st Century Media

Music and poetry combine in an upcoming classical concert. The Academy Chorale and Chamber Society will perform Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No.1 in C Minor, Op. 11 and “Die Erste Walpurgisnacht,” Op.60 (chorus singing in English, with orchestra) on Saturday, Dec. 6.
The Academy Chorale and Chamber Society aims to cultivate and enhance “aesthetic understanding, spirit, and joy among audiences and participants,” according to its website. The Chorale features 100 voices, including veteran amateur singers, professional musicians, and novice singers from the community. There is no audition to participate. The 40-member Chamber Society features amateurs and teaching professionals. The two ensembles perform three concerts together each year.
Marcy Spielvogel, of Lansdale, has been singing with the Chorale for three years. The soprano has been singing all of her life, though. It’s fun, but she works hard to get her part right, she said. And she never misses practice.
“I just love it. I can be so exhausted, but I so look forward to going to rehearsals,” she said.
She loves singing because it gives her peace.
“Music hits you right to the soul,” she said.
The piece the group will sing at the concert is about people living together in peace and harmony, she said. The text comes from a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and tells of the attempts of Druids to practice their pagan rituals in the face of new and dominating Christian forces.
“It’s really cool,” she said. “It’s magical. It’s spiritual. It’s suspenseful. Some of the melody is so strikingly different, yet it’s beautiful.”
She likes all kinds of music, but really enjoys the classics, she said. She plays a little guitar and can get by on the piano. She loves anything musical.
Marsha Low, of Flourtown, does, too. She’s singing with the Chorale for the fourth year. The alto had been in choirs through school and performed in musicals in high school. She really wanted to perform with other people again and was happy to find this group.
The Mendelssohn piece is amazing, she said. Such a large chorus produces a big sound. There are soloists with “fabulous voices,” she said, and she thinks the orchestra is talented as well.
“It’s a really cool piece,” she said. “The different movements have different moods. I think people will enjoy it.”
She hopes that people will come to hear this piece and feel as inspired as she is when she’s singing.
“I think it’s so uplifting to sing,” she said. “I’m having a great time doing it. It’s a fabulous experience.”

IF YOU GO

What: Academy Chorale and Chamber Society concert
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6
Where: Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School Performing Arts Center, 1345 Sumneytown Pike, Lower Gywnedd
Tickets at the Door: $20; Seniors $10; Students $5; Children younger than 12 free.
Info:. Visit www.academyconcerts.org

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