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LETU Fine Arts Director to Launch Longview Civic Chorus


LeTourneau University Director of Fine Arts Jim Taylor encourages community members who can sing to participate in the Longview Civic Chorus (formerly the East Texas Community Chorus) for high school through adult-aged singers. The first meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28, at the First Baptist Church of Longview, 209 East South Street in Longview. No formal auditions are necessary, but singers must be able to hold a choral part amid harmony.

The multi-generational aspect of the Longview Civic Chorus is an asset that brings together music professionals as well as church choir-level singers who seek to sing more challenging music for a mid-to-large sized chorus of over 50 members. The LCC will sing music from classical masterworks to music that is more contemporary. The atmosphere is one of hard work, humor, camaraderie and making friends.

The LCC may be taken for credit through LeTourneau University, or members may simply pay a $75 fee for the semester. The Longview Civic Chorus and the LeTourneau Singers will combine voices on occasion to form a mass choir for performing larger works.

This semester's concert plans include participation in LeTourneau University's Reformation Day Celebration with a Concert and Hymn Festival on Oct. 31 at 4 p.m. with brass, percussion and organ in the Belcher Center. A Christmas Lessons & Carols Service is scheduled for Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Longview.
Rehearsals will be held in the choir room located upstairs from the lobby on the Green Street entrance to First Baptist Church. For more information, go to www.letu.edu/finearts and click on the Longview Civic Chorus link. The LCC is also on Facebook.

Taylor is in his first year as LETU's new associate professor of music and director of fine arts, but his extensive experience includes having conducted many choral masterworks with orchestra throughout the years. On three occasions, he was invited to conduct the Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Ukraine. Throughout the years, he has studied under musical luminaries including John Rutter, Robert Shaw, and Helmuth Rilling.

Taylor has written and published a number of dramatic scripts. His choral and choral/orchestral works are published by Oxford University Press, Hinshaw Music, Roger Dean Music, Choristers Guild, Colla Voce, and other music publishers. His doctoral dissertation on the choral arrangements of Robert Shaw and Alice Parker was condensed into an article in the June/July 2012 issue of the Choral Journal.

He founded the Jacksonville (Fla.) Children's Chorus, which now numbers more than 300 young singers. His work has been featured at All-State music festivals and performed internationally.

Taylor's undergraduate degree in music composition is from Florida Atlantic University. After one year of post-graduate work at University of North Texas, he earned his master's degree in studio writing and production at the University of Miami, preparing him for a career as a music arranger and record producer at the dawn of contemporary Christian Music. He has directed music programs for large churches in Florida, Colorado and Alabama for more than two decades before returning to college to earn a doctorate in choral conducting at the University of Alabama. For the past eight years, he has served as director of choral activities at Kilgore College.

LeTourneau University is the premier Christian polytechnic university in the nation where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a range of disciplines and delivery models at LETU's residential campus in Longview, Texas, and in hybrid and fully online options at centers in the Dallas and Houston areas. For additional information, visit www.letu.edu.


Categories: Fine Arts