Xiaolun ChenWelcome to the 80th season of the Choral Society of Pensacola. Wow! 80 years of singing! 80 years of making great music! This is a very special season and I am so happy and honored to be a part of this wonderful organization. And you, my dear friends, whether you are in the Saenger Theatre or in a church, whether the concert program is featuring Handel or contemporary choral works, I am glad you have come to share in the exciting world of choral music.

We open the season with The Songs We’ve Loved to Sing, Celebrating 80 Years of Choral Society, at First United Methodist Church. This concert is a collection of highlights of the masterworks we have performed in the past. The program includes the classical works by Bach, Rachmaninoff, Tschesnokoff, as well as other outstanding choral music. The featured soloists will be soprano Sheila Dunn and tenor Antonio Giuliano, and they will present many beloved melodies. This concert is somewhat of a Choral Society’s music reunion, and I am sure you will enjoy this wonderful evening!

We will celebrate our 80th holiday season concert with Handel’s Messiah in the historic Saenger Theatre. It is our honor to present this concert once again. Soloists are soprano Carla Connors, mezzo-soprano Monika Casson, tenor Thomas Rowell, and bass Patrick Jacobs. This concert will be a very special gift for our anniversary celebrations.

The Choral Society will present Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah at Cokesbury United Methodist Church. With soloists soprano Marcia Porter, mezzo-soprano Anne Duraski, tenor Leo Day, and bass-baritone Mark Walters, this promises to be a great concert night to close out this memorable season.

I always consider myself a very lucky man to have this amazing opportunity to conduct a chorus like CSP. It has been my privilege and honor to work with this chorus since 1998, and I am looking forward to another season of great concerts with great passion!

Many, many thanks to you all!

Xiaolun Chen – Artistic Director