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Spiritual Seven to kick off Spencer-Miller spring lineup

January 20th, 2013 4:58 pm by staff report

Acclaimed gospel group Larnell Starkey and the Spiritual Seven will kick off the spring lineup of the Spencer-Miller Memorial Concert Series with a performance at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 20 at Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church in Abingdon, Va.


Singing together for more than 40 years, Larnell Starkey and the Spiritual Seven is made up of brothers, sons and cousins who are all members of Chestnut Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Wirtz, Va.


Their music, a zestful blend of traditional gospel with a contemporary twist, showcases the group’s vocal harmonies, from the high-flying falsettos of the first tenor to the deep, rich sounds of the low bass.


Known as the “Gospel Temptations,” the award-winning ensemble has toured across the United States and internationally, performing for audiences ranging from small churches of 30 people to arena crowds of 30,000.


The series will continue Feb. 24 with a concert by the Paramount Chamber Players titled “Words and Worlds of Music,” featuring American composers Aaron Copland’s “Old American Songs” and Kenton Coe’s “5 Pieces for 2 Flutes and Piano.” In addition, the Players will perform a rarely heard and unrecorded work by French composer Louis Moyse.


The 7 Sopranos from Washington, D.C., will treat listeners to a scope of arias and songs of soprano classics from all genres — from comedies and dramas to secular and religious music — when they perform March 24.


The Paramount Chamber Players will wrap up the spring lineup on April 28 with “Lasting Impressions,” an unusual mix of memorable music. Aaron Copland’s “Old American Songs” will be followed with an unusual pairing of ancient repertoire with a modern instrument — the “Telemann Partita No. 6,” performed on clarinet. Continuing the musical tour of unique impressions will be a flute trio by film composer Nino Rota. The final work will be “Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A Major, op. 81.”


All concerts are held at 3 p.m. at Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church.


Tickets are $10 for adults and may be purchased only at the door. Admission is free for all students as well as students, faculty and staff at Virginia Highlands Community College and those students of the College for Older Adults who have purchased Arts Array passes.


The Spencer-Miller Memorial Concert Series is part of the Arts Array community cultural outreach series of Virginia Highlands Community College.


The concert series honors the memories and legacies of Dr. Bill and Catherine Spencer and Dr. Sam and Mary Agnes Miller, all of whom enriched the Abingdon community with their love of music and their support of musical events in the community.


For more information about the concert series, call Ben Jennings, Arts Array Coordinator, at (276) 739-2447 or email him at bjennings@vhcc.edu.

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