Hodgson Singers present The Passing of the Year in Concert

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The University of Georgia’s flagship choral ensemble, the Hodgson Singers, will present a concert reflecting on life’s “seasons and sentiments” on Tuesday, November 6th. The performance will take place in Hodgson Hall at 7:30 during UGA’s 7thAnnual Spotlight on the Arts Festival, which is presented by the UGA Arts Council and features dozens of events and exhibitions in the visual, literary, and performing arts. 


“I am delighted that our university has begun this initiative to bring greater awareness of our ongoing artistic pursuits to the greater university and Athens communities. The singers and I are glad to be contributing this special concert to the festival,” says Dr. Bara, the John D. Boyd UGA Foundation Professor of Choral Music and the Director of Choral Activities. Joining Dr. Bara and the Hodgson Singers will be doctoral piano student Tsai-Wei Li. “The Passing of the Year” requires a professional caliber pianist. We are so delighted that Tsai-Wei has taken on this challenging and rewarding piece with us,” says Dr. Bara.


The evening’s program reflects on the seasons of life as expressed in the writings of some of history’s greatest poets and thinkers, including Wordsworth, Dickinson, Blake, Tennyson, Whitman, Rabindranath Tagore, and Rumi. The center pieces of the program are works that have become important contributions to the choral repertory in recent years; Jonathan Dove’s “The Passing of the Year,” and Christopher Theofanidis’ “Messages to Myself.” 


The second part of the program will explore the human experience through the lens of folk songs from the US, England, Ireland, and South Africa, and closes with a “bedtime” story and lullaby, followed by a rousing African American spiritual. “The diversity of styles will certainly be appreciated by all who come,” says Dr. Bara.


The intellectual gravity of the texts paired with the virtuosity of the writing make this program one of significance. Dr. Bara says that the fact that this concert will take place on Election Dayis not lost on him. “In these times of heightened political rhetoric and apparent divisiveness, I hope that this program – one that intentionally explores the folk music of other cultures and writings of non-Western philosophers and poets – helps to remind all of us that we are more similar than different, and that we are stronger and better when we seek to see ourselves in others,” Dr. Bara says.The program is intended as a meditation on life’s seasons as experienced through the ages throughout the world, not as a political statement.


“I think the quality of the singing and the singers’ desire to communicate with the audience will make this concert a memorable and accessible one to any audience,” says Dr. Bara. After hearing that statement, and knowing the program the Hodgson Singers have planned, Spotlight on the Arts guests along with long-time patrons have much to look forward to with this concert. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students and children and can be purchased online at pac.uga.edu or by calling the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 706-542-4400. All proceeds go directly to supporting student scholarships. For those unable to attend the concert, live streaming will be available online at music.uga.edu/live-streaming. For more information on the Spotlight on the Arts Festival, which continues through November 11th, please visit arts.uga.edu.