A! Magazine for the Arts

The Highlands Youth Ensemble appeared at Biltmore in July.

The Highlands Youth Ensemble appeared at Biltmore in July.

MECCA announces concert season and tour

September 23, 2013

The choirs of the Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy celebrate their 26th anniversary season by performing concerts, collaborating with area arts organizations and touring both regionally and abroad.

The Highlands Youth Ensemble, MECCA's premier ensemble for high school singers, has been invited to participate in the Festival of the Aegean held on the island of Syros, Greece. This two-week residency will see the choir presenting a solo concert as well as participating in two concerts with other choirs from around the world. Young men in Highlands Youth Ensemble may also sing in the opera chorus of "Rigoletto" as part of the Apollo Theatre's 150th anniversary season.

The East Tennessee Children's Choir has been invited to perform at the Tennessee state conference of the American Choral Directors Association. This is the first time in many years that a children's choir has performed at this event, and Artistic Director Jane DeLoach Morison is thrilled that ETCC has been selected.

"We are so proud of all of our ensembles, and it is a thrill to share them with audiences outside our community. Travel is such an extraordinary experience, and I know our young musicians will grow and learn so much as they share their music and their culture; as they sing in fellowship with other musicians; and as they rehearse and perform under the direction of world-renowned conductors."

MECCA choirs will also present a slate of concerts locally. Among those are the annual Christmas collaboration with the Symphony of the Mountains, and a special spring collaboration on Carl Orff's masterwork, "Carmina Burana," Morison says, "Part of our mission is to study and perform the world's great choral literature, and we are excited to be part of this wonderful collaboration of the area's best artistic groups."

Another collaboration this year will be the performance of "Veni Sancte Spiritus," a new work by Kentaro Sato. This performance with the Milligan College Orchestra under the director of Dr. Kellie Dubel Brown will take place Nov. 1 in the Mary B. Martin Auditorium at Seeger Memorial Chapel.