Rolla Choral Arts Society holding free concert featuring music inspired by COVID-19 pandemic

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The Rolla Choral Arts Society is holding a free concert in The Gardens between St. James Winery and Public House Brewing Company featuring the Rolla Community Choir, Rolla Choral Arts Society Jazz Choir, Trilogy and a host of additional instrumentalists.

The outdoor concert called “The Road Home” will feature a variety of music inspired by the pandemic to celebrate community and the human spirit to overcome adversity, according to Rolla Choral Arts Society's artistic and executive director, Jeff Sandquist.

The Rolla Choral Arts Society singers continued to sing somewhat together during the pandemic with the series of “sing-along” Zoom experiences in the fall and winter. 

In March, the group began rehearsing together, with COVID-19 protocols in place — temperature checks, singing masks, social distancing and 30-minute rehearsals with space limitations.  

Thanks to St. Patrick’s Parish, Sandquist said the choir could utilize both the Parish Hall and the sanctuary for 30-minute intervals to make 90-minute rehearsals possible.

With the recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcements, vaccinated singers will be able to perform without masks and less social distancing. However, unvaccinated singers will continue to wear singing masks and practice social distancing, according to Sandquist. 

Instrumentalists in the community have also stepped up to share their talents for the outdoor performance. In addition, Trilogy will be featured on several selections with the choir and perform a set of their own music following the choirs’ performance.

The horns and rhythm section will play with the Rolla Choral Arts Society Jazz Choir and with the Rolla Community Choir on two pieces. There will also be flute, violin, oboe and percussion with the Rolla Community Choir.  

The outdoor concert will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, in The Gardens between St. James Winery and Public House Brewing Company, 540 State Route B, in St. James. 

Sandquist directs the Rolla Community Choir, and Kathy Mazzeo is the collaborative pianist for the group and director of the Rolla Choral Arts Society Jazz Choirs.

The Rolla Choral Arts Society and “The Road Home” concert is sponsored in part by a grant from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.  The Missouri Arts Council grant is matched by donations from individual supporters of the Rolla Choral Arts Society.  

This is the Rolla Choral Arts Society’s 12th season. Plans for the 2021-22 season include the return of the Rolla Choral Arts Society Children’s Choirs, Una Voce and Cantiamo and the Rolla Men of Song. 

Residents can find additional information on the Rolla Choral Arts Society at www.rollachoirs.org.

The outdoor concert presented by the Rolla Choral Arts Society will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, in The Gardens between the St. James Winery and Public House Brewing Company, 540 State Route B, in St. James.