Russ Rieger conducts the mixed-voice chorus for the first time as the new artistic director with June 8 concert
DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
Resounding Harmony begins a new chapter in its life when the chorus performs at the Meyerson Symphony Center on June 8 with new artistic director Russ Rieger conducting for the first time.
The mixed-voice group last performed in the fall before founder and original artistic director Tim Seelig left Dallas to conduct the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.
Rieger was hired Jan. 1 to replace Seelig. Before his first rehearsal as director, he worried about how he would fill Seelig’s shoes.
“There’s no way anyone could fill those shoes,” he said. “The chorus presented me with a pair of new shoes so I didn’t have to fill Tim’s.”
Board Chair Mark Knight said they’re calling this Chapter Two for Resounding Harmony, but the transition has been an easy one.
Rieger, who has been the music minister of Oak Lawn United Methodist Church for 21 years, served as the principal accompanist for the Turtle Creek Chorale and Women’s Chorus of Dallas. He accompanied Resounding Harmony when they performed Sing for the Cure at Carnegie Hall last year.
“He’s played the organ for all of our concerts at the Meyerson,” Knight said.
Each of Resounding Harmony’s concerts is a benefit performance, which Knight calls musical philanthropy. This concert will support the Palliative Care program at Children’s Medical Center.
The concert is titled Born for Greatness, in honor of the children in the palliative care program, Rieger said.
“Greatness isn’t measured by the length of a child’s life, but by the impact the child makes on others,” Rieger said doctors who work in Children’s Hospital’s palliative care unit told him.
Performing with Resounding Harmony at the June 8 concert is Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Jana Stanfield. She has done programs for palliative care programs elsewhere and will perform her song, “Born for Greatness.”
Also appearing are dancers from the Academy of Dance from Allen who will accompany two of the songs.
Rieger said most of the music in the show will be inspirational. The first half closes with “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel. Another piece they’ll do is “He Ain’t Heavy … He’s My Brother.”
He said plans already are forming for the next two seasons. Next year, Seelig will be conducting Sing for the Cure in Atlanta and he has invited Resounding Harmony to join them.
Beneficiaries for next season’s concerts have been set. The November performance is for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the spring concert will benefit the American Heart Association.
Knight said they are working on a tour for the 2012-13 season.
Resounding Harmony performs at the Meyerson Symphony Center, June 8 at 8 p.m. $30-50. Tickets available on line at ResoundingHarmony.org.