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Highland Lakes Classical Chorus seeking singers for Vivaldi’s Gloria

Highland Lakes Classical Chorus

Director and voice instructor Devlon Goodman welcomes singers of all musical levels to join the Highland Lakes Classical Chorus. The chorus is performing Vivaldi’s Gloria at 3 p.m. April 30. Rehearsals are from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

Lend your voice to the Highland Lakes Classical Chorus for its upcoming rendition of Vivaldi’s Gloria this spring.

“You don’t have to be a lead singer to be in the choir,” said Devlon Goodman, who is directing the piece and leading rehearsals. “You will become stronger as a singer as we rehearse.”

To join the community chorus, just show up for rehearsals, which are from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays at First United Methodist Church of Burnet, 301 E. Graves St. The performance is at 3 p.m. April 30, also at the church, and will include a small baroque orchestra ensemble.

“Singers of all levels of experience are welcome,” said Kristine Robinson, director of the Burnet church’s choir. “Sheet music and links to practice recordings are provided.” 

The Highland Lakes Classical Chorus is an ensemble of volunteer choral singers from across the region. It was founded in 2018 and has previously performed Handel’s Messiah (2018 and 2022) and Schubert’s Mass in G (2019). 

With a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees in voice, Goodman can’t help but teach as he directs, he said. He is an online tutor and voice instructor as well as associate choir director at Highland Lakes United Methodist Church in Buchanan Dam, where wife Roberta is pastor.

Goodman is excited about bringing together the voices and musicians of the Highland Lakes for this particular piece. 

“Vivaldi’s Gloria is a beautiful piece,” he said. “His music was popular for a reason.” 

The piece is known for its emotional content and connection between choir and audience. It tells the story of Jesus from birth to death. 

“Vivaldi was a priest, so he knew the mass very well. He lived with it,” Goodman said. “You can tell that the words had great meaning for him.”

For some composers, the words are a vehicle for music, the choir acting as instrumentals using words for tones. Not for Vivaldi. Goodman cites the movement when Jesus dies for the sins of the world as an example

“It starts out very dark,” he said. “Vivaldi took very seriously the sins-of-the-world part, and he cured that with music.”

The original piece was written for and performed by girls in an Italian orphanage over which Vivaldi presided. The girls were illegitimate children of wealthy businessmen, aristocrats, and royalty.

“He’s looking at offspring from these relationships and writing about the sins of the world,” Goodman continued. “Of course, the music was dark when talking about sin, not just as a priest, but young ladies who come from dark situations who would have had a hopeless situation if he had not taken them in and taught them music.”

The piece takes listeners through the whole experience of faith as a Christian. It also resonates with the performers.

“You will grow in faith because, as we rehearse, we talk about the meaning of the words,” Goodman said. “If you are not a Christian, you will grow in the understanding of the music and the words and what they mean.” 

The act of singing, especially in a group, is good for the soul, no matter what your religious beliefs, he said. 

“For me, personally, working with this group and singing this music, it takes me out of my everyday life and puts me in a different place,” Goodman explained. “It’s nice to go somewhere where I can be lifted up in an artistic — and, for me, spiritual — way.” 

It’s also a fellowship experience.

“The health of singing and breathing and making vibrations together, that’s good for you psychologically and spiritually,” he said. “It makes a huge difference in my week.”

It will also make a huge difference in the performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria by the Highland Lakes Classical Chorus to have your voice become part of the experience. 

For more information about the chorus and performance, call or text concert coordinator Kristine Robinson at 512-755-4886 or email her at krisrbnsn3@gmail.com.

suzanne@thepicayune.com