When he was first asked to be director off the Southern State Singers, John Glaze wasn’t sure it was something he wanted to do. But 17 years later he’s still at it and this Sunday the group will perform its 17th annual Christmas Concert.
The group, comprised of a mix of community residents and Southern State students, will present the Christmas concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Hillsboro as part of the 2015-16 Music at St. Mary’s Concert Series.
“Seventeen years ago or a little more than that a lady at Southern State called and left a message for me about whether or not I’d be interested in directing the group,” Glaze said. “They were going in a little different direction and I thought, I don’t know if I want to do that. She called again and kind of talked me into it.”
Glaze said he’s not sure why he’s stuck with it all these years.
“You just get into the habit and the people that sing in the group are really nice,” he said.
The Southern State Singers perform two concerts a year, sing the “Star Spangled Banner” at Southern State’s graduation ceremony, and perform occasionally elsewhere if someone asks and they can get enough singers together.
Sunday’s concert, accompanied by Melanie MacDowell on piano, will feature music of the Christmas season. Glaze said some of the music will be humorous, some serious, some songs will be older, and some will be more contemporary.
“We try to have something for everybody,” he said.
This year’s Christmas concert is being presented in honor of Hugh Turner, a Leesburg area man who passed away unexpectedly last spring.
“I think he had been with the group since around its beginning or close to it,” Glaze said. “He was always faithful and just a super guy. He left a big hole with his passing.”
The concert is free and open to the public.
The Music at St Mary’s Concert Series will take a break for the uncertain winter weather after Sunday’s performance. It will return on March 13 when St. Mary’s musicians present a Lenten Concert. On March 20 The Voices of Ohio that perform music of various styles celebrating American heritage will play, on April 3 the Cincinnati Children’s Choir will perform, and on April 17 the Southern State Singers will return for their spring concert.
Music At St. Mary’s was started by Glaze, who wanted to build upon the concerts already being presented by the church musicians and Southern State Singers. The concerts are presented without an admission charge and are supported solely by donations received at the concerts and from Friends of Music At St. Mary’s.
The Southern State Singers is open to any Southern State student or member of the community that would like to take part. There are no tryouts.
“Usually people can tell if they can handle it or not, and we can usually handle most people,” Glaze said.
For more information contact Glaze at [email protected]
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.