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St. Patrick’s to host third annual Choral Festival

The third annual St. Patrick’s Choral Festival, under the direction of C. Scott Hagler of Durango, begins this Friday, July 20, and will continue through Sunday, July 22, at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.

Singers from across the Pagosa Springs area, whether well-trained or beginners, are invited to attend the event.

The workshop will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon with the choral workshop rehearsal ending at 6. The workshop will resume at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 21, will break for lunch at noon and regroup at 1:30 p.m., ending at 6:30. Breaks will be included throughout the day. On Sunday afternoon, the group will meet at 2 p.m. and rehearse until 3:30. The workshop will conclude with a performance at St. Patrick’s monthly service of music and meditation, Sunday Night Unplugged, beginning at 5.

This year’s workshop will be conducted by C. Scott Hagler, minister of music and arts at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Durango. In addition to directing choirs and playing for services at St. Mark’s on Durango’s only tracker pipe organ, he oversees the Sacred Arts Festival, the Durango Bach Festival, the Durango Chamber Music Festival as well as an annual four-recital series. As a visiting instructor in the Fort Lewis College Department of Music, Hagler teaches piano and organ, and serves as an accompanist for dozens of music majors.

C. Scott Hagler moved to Durango in 2004 from Denver, where he was director of music ministries at Park Hill United Methodist Church, conductor of the semi-professional handbell choir Rocky Mountain Ringers, and principal accompanist/associate conductor of the Arvada Center Chorale.

Hagler is a published arranger and composer who composes for children and adult choirs, handbells, instrumental ensembles and solo piano. He is a popular instructor for choral and handbell clinics around the country. He has also served as pianist and entertainer at the Diamond Circle Melodrama in Durango. In conjunction with the Melodrama, Hagler released “Ragtime!,” a solo-piano CD of the music of Scott Joplin. Hagler currently serves as dean of the Four Corners Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association.

This year’s festival will focus on the arrangements of Moses Hogan, an important contributor to the perpetuation and preservation of Negro spirituals in our American music repertoire. The spirituals covered in the workshop will include: “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?” “Down by the Riverside,” “Steal Away,” “Wade in the Water” and “We Shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace.”

The music is not only beautiful to sing, but useful repertoire in church music and instructive for teaching vocal skills.

“We hope this workshop will attract those who enjoy singing in choral ensembles, want to improve their vocal skills, and want to learn some truly lovely music,” said Sally Neel, director of music at St. Patrick’s. “You are not required to be a great singer to participate.”

The cost of the workshop is $25, payable at the Friday registration. For more information, call Sally Neel, 946-6458, or the church office at 731-5801. St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd.

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