Arts Chorale of Winchester

Members of The Arts Chorale of Winchester hold their first in-person rehearsal on Aug. 31 after being kept apart for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fully vaccinated community choir is preparing for a return to live performances with local concerts scheduled for Oct. 10 and Dec. 4.

WINCHESTER — After COVID-19 kept them offstage for more than a year, members of The Arts Chorale of Winchester are ready to once again sing for the community.

The choir, formed in 2001 and comprised of people who live in the Northern Shenandoah Valley and Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, is planning two fall concerts: “How Can I Keep from Singing” on Oct. 10 and “A Candlelight Christmas” on Dec. 4.

“As with so many arts organizations and performance groups, we have had to remain virtual or remote for the last 18 months, which makes it even more special to be able to come together and rehearse live as a fully vaccinated group and to look forward to presenting two concerts this fall,” Elizabeth Albert, managing director of The Arts Chorale of Winchester, said in a email.

“How Can I Keep From Singing” will feature music including “Unclouded Day,” “Ubi Caritas” and the song that inspired the program, “How Can I Keep From Singing,” at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Armstrong Concert Hall at Shenandoah University, 1460 University Dr. in Winchester. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased in advance online at artschoralewinchester.org or with cash at the door. Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free. Face masks will be required of all attendees, regardless of vaccination status.

“A Candlelight Christmas” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 26 W. Boscawen St. in Winchester. Seating at the church is limited. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online or with cash at the door. Children 12 and under will be admitted free. No directive regarding face masks has been issued at this time.

This autumn’s performances will be the first under the guidance of the choir’s new artistic director, Karen Keating, who succeeded founding artistic director Michael Main following his retirement last year. Keating was a music professor at Shenandoah University for more than 30 years, working with the school’s summer musical theater program, Shenandoah Chorus and Cantus Singers, and Opera Up Close series.

For more information about The Arts Chorale of Winchester, visit artschoralewinchester.org.

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