Athens singers perform world premier at Carnegie Hall

·2 min read

Jul. 9—A group of vocalists from the First Baptist Church in Athens will taking the stage Sunday night in one of the nation's most famous venues for the performing arts.

Choir Director Kern Railsback said they will be part of a choir assembled to premier a new Christian music work at Carnegie Hall. The event is called "Jubilate, an Evening With Choral Masters."

For many years, Railsback has been a member of a Texas based, men's choral group called the Centurymen, which has toured around the world.

"It's through my contacts with the Centurymen that we got involved in this production," Railsback said.

The eight Athens singers join the choir, orchestra and soloists to perform two cantatas, which are musical works with narration. They are "Esther, Triumph of Faith" the account of a young Hebrew woman who dared to speak to the king to save her people, and "The Weaver," about God, who spun the tapestry of the universe and created all who live in it. It's the world premier of the Esther musical.

Railsback said singing and playing in the historic building is a remarkable opportunity.

"The acoustics there are amazing," he said, "It's quite an experience."

Railsback performed there a few years ago, playing piano for the Singing Men of Texas.

Some of the Athens singers have brought along family members to see some sights and take in the New York City experience.

There are actually three halls at Carnegie. The Isaac Stern Hall, where Jubilate will be performed is the historic one, Railsback said. It seats about 2,800 people.

Railsback said a lot of people buy tickets just to take in a concert at the historic site, opened in 1891.

The Sunday night performance is one of several remaining this summer at the fabled hall. Still on the bill, to name a few, are the American Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and even Weird Al Yankovic.