Friends of the Rockbridge Choral Society
  Vol. 29                                        ONLINE  ONLINE  ONLINE                                   November 2017    
Providing financial support   since 1999 for The Rockbridge Choral Society and The Rockbridge Youth Chorale

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Birthdays in Music

Claude Arrieu  11/20/1902

       Joaquin Rodrigo       11/22/1901
Randy Newman  11/28/1943
Mark Your Calendars

December 2, 2017 -
Holiday Concert,
RCS and
Rockbridge Youth Chorale, 7:30 PM
     Lexington Presbyterian Church,
Community Carol Sing 
7:15 PM

January 28, 2018 -
Rockbridge Chamber Singers presents
Songs of Love,
3 PM
     Lexington Presbyterian Church

April 17, 2018 -
Rockbridge Youth Chorale Spring Concert,
7 PM
  Lexington Presbyterian Church

April 29, 2018 -
with orchestra and soloists,
Mass in B Minor, J. S. Bach
                   7 PM
Wilson Concert Hall, Washington and Lee University

Bonus Thing - Historical High Notes
       Soprano Audrey Luna hits an "A" above high "C" during her performance in "The Exterminating Angel".  That's believed to be the highest note ever sung on the stage of the New York Metropolitan Opera. 
Christmas Is Coming!
     The Rockbridge Choral Society and the Rockbridge Youth Chorale will once again join forces for our annual Holiday Concert on Saturday December 2, 7:30 PM at the Lexington Presbyterian Church.  The ever popular audience carol sing will start off at 7:15, so bring a friend or ten and sing along to ring in the season.  There will be props, so don't miss this yearly musical treat!
Our New  
Executive Director
      For over 20 years, the Friends of the Rockbridge Choral Society (FRCS) have been muddling along, mostly staffed with a rag-tag bunch of volunteers, most of them singers, who have distributed and organized music, printed and distributed posters, sold tickets, organized fundraising and concerts, social media, communications, websites, newsletters, etc., etc.  Now finally, we are most happy to announce that we have a new executive director who will get us better organized so we can keep the music flowing! 
     Melanie Griffis-Hooper has sung with the RCS and the Chamber Singers off and on for many years.  She has recently returned to the fold on a more permanent basis, and will take on this new directorship.  She will manage the volunteer functions of the RCS and the RYC and further develop and support our fundraising efforts.  Melanie has a long history of leadership and fundraising experience with non-profit and arts organizations.  She recently served a 9-year term as Senior Director of Development for the College of Fine Arts at Marshall University.  Since then, she has served as a consultant for several West Virginia non-profits.  We are grateful that Melanie has joined our efforts. 
      Please contact Melanie through our website or email her directly at with your questions about what we do or how you can help support the Friends of the Rockbridge Choral Society and the choruses it sustains.  Welcome, Melanie!
Mark Swortzel-tuba and
sponsor Jane Birzenieks.
Don't Give to the Tax Man, Adopt a Player Instead!
      Ah, the holiday season - the anticipation of shimmering lights on sweet smelling fir trees, packages tied up in ribbons and bows, gathering with friends and family, bell ringers, the sales, the food, the tax man.  What? The tax man?  As part of your holiday gift giving, why not take a tax deduction by making a donation to the Friends of the RCS before year's end?  Our Adopt a Player program, which helped the Friends defray a substantial portion of the budget for Elijah two seasons ago, was such a success that we are bringing it back for the Bach B-Minor coming up in April, 2018. 
      Every season, ticket sales and tuition paid by our singers covers about one third of the performance year budget.  The rest comes from the fundraising endeavors of the Friends.  This season, the Friends will be making a grant of just over $28,000 to the choruses we underwrite.  A big chunk of that amount will go to pay our soloists and our orchestra players for the B-Minor.  The chorus could not do what it does so well without the underlay of our very fine orchestra of professional players who come from all over the Valley and beyond.  Our loyal chorus volunteers feed and house many of them, but we still have to pay them for rehearsal and performance time.  If you are interested in supporting the work of one of our fine players for this concert, please consider a one-time donation to underwrite a player or soloist.  We also have opportunities for donors to permanently endow some of these orchestra positions.  If you can help, please email Melanie Griffis-Hooper, our new Executive Director,, with your questions about this charitable giving opportunity.   We are forever grateful for all you do to help us keep choral music thriving in our community!  Happy Tax Season!
Alma Deutscher being interviewed by Scott Pelley.
One Extraordinary Thing
     Is Alma Deutscher a child prodigy?  Some would say so.  We cannot stop watching this 60 Minutes Overtime video in which she composed a little piano sonata from four notes drawn from a hat, literally in less time than it took you to read this newsletter.  Click here.
     Alma is 12 years old and has been composing since she was 4.  By the time she was 10, she had composed an opera, a re-imagined version of Cinderella, which recently premiered in Vienna.  She certainly plays the piano and violin like a prodigy.  See the whole interview here
Friends of the Rockbridge Choral Society
Rockbridge Choral Society
PO Box 965
Lexington, VA 24450