Johnston County

Johnston County Chorale to perform spring concert

Johnston County Chorale director Amy Rowe, left, plays the keyboard while members rehearse for their spring concert on May 7.
Johnston County Chorale director Amy Rowe, left, plays the keyboard while members rehearse for their spring concert on May 7. abennett@newsobserver.com

For nearly four decades, the Johnston County Chorale has serenaded not just its home county but venues across the country.

Next up is The Clayton Center, where the chorale will present its spring concert, “Best of Broadway,” at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, May 7.

The chorale will sing memorable songs from such Broadway shows as “Big River,” “Annie” and “Grease.” Expect some flare too; one number even has a prop pig.

“Bring the family, there’s something for everybody,” said Amy Rowe, the chorale’s director. “We’re spanning many years with a great musical variety.”

An orchestra will accompany the chorale, the director said. The musicians are locals, including some who teach band in Johnston County schools, Rowe said.

For shows like Saturday’s spring concert, the chorale rehearses for months, gathering Mondays at First Baptist Church in Smithfield, its longtime rehearsal space. The number varies from year to year, but the group consistently has anywhere from 45 to 60 voices.

“We’ve had people from all over Johnston County and of all ages,” said Connie Johnson, a longtime member.

“Anyone is welcome to join,” she added. The chorale doesn’t require auditions; just show up and sing.

The chorale was born in 1977, when some like-minded folks came together to inspires singers of all ages to share their voices. Originally known as the Johnston County Choral Society, the group rehearsed early on at the Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield. Over the years, the chorale has invited musicians and local dance students to join its shows.

Rowe, the current director, teaches music at West Johnston High School. She has performed with the N.C. Symphony.

In addition to its twice-yearly concerts, the chorale has performed at nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, in Johnston County schools and at Carolina Mudcats games for the National Anthem. Beyond North Carolina’s borders, the group has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City and at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.

The chorus is a nonprofit that relies on donations, sponsorships and ticket sales. To learn more, go to www.johnstoncountychorale.com.

Abbie Bennett: 919-553-7234, Ext. 101; @AbbieRBennett

Want to go?

What: “Best of Broadway,” the Johnston County Chorale’s spring concert.

When: 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, May 7.

Where: The Clayton Center, 111 E. Second St., Clayton.

Tickets: $15. They’re available in the Clayton Center box office and online at claytoncenter.com.

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