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Musicians are clay in Kenney Potter's hands May, 2016

Kenney Potter runs the Charlotte Symphony Chorus, which he has redesigned in less than a year. (You'll hear it blast through Orff's Carmina Burana this week at Belk Theater.)

As of last fall, he runs the music department at Wingate University, where the number of vocal students has quadrupled during his 11-year tenure.

He and wife Heather run the music program at First Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, she as director of music and he as director of adult choirs.
Together, they run a Dilworth household overrun (as such households occasionally are) by two youngsters under 10.
And for relaxation, he runs. "Not competitively," he says. "I have run several marathons in recent years, (such as) Charlotte's Thunder Road. My competition is against the clock, not against people."

Until six hours get added to every day, Kenney Potter will always be competing against a clock. (He has that extra "e" because his first name is a family name.)

"When he took on the chair of the music department and the symphony chorus at the same time, I asked, 'Are you sure?' " recalls Jessie Wright Martin, a Wingate music faculty colleague. "Wingate probably has the best college choir in the state, so the demands on Kenney are very high. A few of us who work closely with him are being as supportive as possible to cover all the bases.

"He read more


Charlotte magazine: Charlotte Symphony’s Chamber Singers Debut October, 2015

BY ANDY SMITH

THIS FALL is a season of a change for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra's 150 volunteer singers. The Oratorio Singers of Charlotte have been rebranded as the "Charlotte Symphony Chorus." A new Young Artists in Residence program gives area high-schoolers a chance to perform onstage with the group for some of the year's most anticipated concerts. And on Saturday, an offshoot effort called Charlotte Symphony Chamber Singers debuted at Ascension Lutheran Church.

At 35 singers, the new ensemble is a chamber group, which is smaller, more intimate choir. Kenney Potter, director of choruses for the symphony, won't take sole credit for the new ensemble. "There was much interest within members of the chorus to start a chamber group for some time," Potter said. "And our goal is just to pursue artistic excellence within the chorus in any way."

Potter began his work as director of choruses with the symphony this summer, following the departure of longtime leader Scott Allen Jarrett. Potter, who also directs choral activities at Wingate University, says this weekend's opening concert from the Chamber Singers "is not what the casual concert-goer would expect."

That becomes more obvious when you take a look at Saturday's program. Along with the names of celebrated Renaissance composers, modern figures like Eric Whitacre and Kurt Knecht are read more


Citizen Artists: Scott Allen Jarrett Looks Back May, 2015

by Meg Freeman Whalen

On Friday, May 15, Scott Allen Jarrett will conduct the final concert of the Charlotte Symphony's 2014-2015 KnightSounds concert series, a program of music composed for royals. This concert is also Jarrett's last as music director of the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte, the official chorus of the Charlotte Symphony. In the fall, Kenney Potter will take over the baton. By phone from Boston, where he serves as director of music, chapel organist, and choirmaster at Boston University's Marsh Chapel, Jarrett spoke with Charlotte Viewpoint about his stint as "Senior Pastor of the First Church of the Oratorio."

What was your vision for the Oratorio Singers when you arrived in 2004?
Well I think there were several things at the top of the list, but two have surfaced as the main accomplishments. One is ensuring that the Oratorio is performing at a standard commensurate with the orchestra when they do appear with the orchestra that they can perform at the highest artistic level. When I started, we needed to get the organization more agile read more


Charlotte Symphony picks Potter to lead Oratorio Singers March, 2015

BY LAWRENCE TOPPMAN
ltoppman@charlotteobserver.com

It was never the job: It was the commute. Scott Allen Jarrett finally decided to stop weekly round-trips from his Boston home to guide the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte, and this season is his last.

So when the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra looked for a new director of choruses, it settled on a guy who lives in ... Charlotte.

He is Kenney Potter, director of choral activities at Wingate University, and he starts this fall.

"We were thrilled with the talent and level of professionalism of all of our qualified candidates, but Dr. Potter was the unanimous choice to lead our chorus," said CSO music director Christopher Warren-Green, who served on the search committee. "It is a bonus that we are engaging a local candidate with deep roots in our region."

Potter holds degrees from Florida State University, Portland State University, and UNC Greensboro, and his conducting experience goes well beyond choruses: He has been artistic director and conductor of the Union Symphony Orchestra, and he annually conducts productions for Wingate University Opera.

Like many musicians, he keeps fingers in countless pies. So he's director of adult choirs at First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, a guest clinician at festivals ranging from Wisconsin to Georgia to Kenya this year and a composer/arranger. He's also founder and editor of Wingate University Music read more


Scott Allen Jarrett named Director of Choruses & Assistant Conductor December, 2013

The Charlotte Symphony (CSO) announced today that the Director of Oratorio Singers, Scott Allen Jarrett, has been named Director of Choruses & Assistant Conductor. The new title better aligns with the growing role that Jarrett plays with the Symphony and the Symphony's Chorus, the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte. read more


Power2Give Helps Oratorio Singers November, 2013

Bring Mozart's Requiem to Life


The Oratorio Singers of Charlotte are asking for your support to purchase 40 scores of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem Mass in D minor for another riveting performance at Belk Theatre on November 11 and 12, 2011.

Mozart's Requiem, perhaps one of the most storied pieces of music ever composed, was commissioned by Austrian aristocrat, Count von Walsegg-Stuppach in 1791 following the death of his young wife, Anna. Already in poor health by the time he took the commission, Mozart confided in his wife, Constanze, that he felt certain he was writing the piece for his own funeral. Mozart did in fact die on December 5, 1791, leaving Requiem unfinished. The intrigue surrounding Requiem's creation and Mozart's demise is matched only by the dramatic and haunting quality of the music itself. How can I help? Each score costs approximately $15. Our goal of $700 will purchase 40 scores of Requiem and enable our fabulous Oratorio Singers to bring this enigmatic work to life in concert with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Warren-Green.

Your gift will go further, thanks to the Knight Foundation, which will contribute $1.00 for every $1.00 donated to this project. read more


60th Anniversary Season November, 2013

60th Anniversary Season to Feature Master Choral Works


The Oratorio Singers of Charlotte celebrates its 60th anniversary with the 2011-2012 season. The season opens November 11 and 12 with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem, followed by Magic of Christmas,George Fredrich Hande'ls Messiah, Carl Orff'sCarmina Burana, before conclusing in May with Ludwig van Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. Special observances are planned to highlight the 60th Anniversary Season.
The Oratorio Singers of Charlotte are the Charlotte Symphony chorus and are comprised of two choruses.

read more


Oratorio Members to Sing at Summer Pops Concert July, 2013

Celebrate America!
Albert-George Schram, conducting Sunday,
July 3, Symphony Park at SouthPark

Gates open at 4 p.m.
Concerts begin at 8:15; p.m.
Preludes at 7 p.m.

Admission: $10 for adults;
children 18 and under are free;
Season pass is $25 for all five concerts

Members of the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte main chorus will join members of Carolina Voices, the Myers Park Presbyterian Church Choir, and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, July 3 at Symphony Park in SouthPark. The concert will be conducted by Albert-George Schram, now in his eleventh season with the Charlotte Symphony's Summer Pops series and will include:

Fanfare for the Common Man COPLAND
Festival Overture on the Star Spangled Banner BUCK
Orange Blossom Special arr. WENDEL
Armed Forces Salute TRADITIONAL
George M. Cohan Salute HERMANN
Selections from Guys and Dolls LOESSER/arr. Custer
76 Trombones from The Music Man WILLSON/arr. Hayman
God Bless America HEALEY
Semper Fidelis SOUSA
America! Song of Celebration CLYDESDALE
We Hold These Truths GOSS
America, I Can Still Hear Your Songs CLYDESDALE
Battle read more


Oratorio Chamber Chorus to Perform at Piccolo Spoleto May, 2013

Saturday, May 28 at 5:00 p.m.
St. Philip's Episcopal Church
142 Church St.
Charleston, SC 29401


"America Hi-Fi: Voices of our time" features the sounds of an American century of choral music. The Oratorio Singers of Charlotte Chamber Singers under the direction of Scott Allen Jarrett, sing the spirit of our country in the music of Irving Fine's The Choral New Yorker, and the southeast premiere of Julian Wachner's Sometimes I Feel Alive. The concert takes place at the historic St. Philip's Episcopal Church at 5:00 p.m.

Scheduled Works: At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners, by Williaetta Spencer

Lux Aeterna, by Edwin Fissinger

The Choral New Yorker, by Irving Fine

SometimesI Feel Alive, by Julian Wachner

What Stood Will Stand, by Paul Halley

Pilgrim's Hymn, by Stephen Paulus.

read more


Oratorio Singers to Perform at Choral Showcase May, 2013

Friday, May 20 at 7:30pm

St. John's Baptist Church
300 Hawthorne Lane
Charlotte, NC 28204


TICKETS $15 adults; $13 seniors; $7.50 youth/students

Click here to purchase tickets online

Experience classical choral music at its best... at the Charlotte Choral Showcase with performances by some of the area's most accomplished choirs. Carolina Voices' ensembles Festival Singers and VOX, along with The Charlotte Symphony's Oratorio Chamber Chorus will showcase select pieces from their upcoming performance at Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, SC, on May 28.

The Spoleto concert is entitled "American HiFi: Voices of our timei" and feaures the following works by 20th Century American composers: The Choral New Yorker, by Irving Fine

SometimesI Feel Alive, by Julian Wachner

Lux Aeterna, by Edwin Fissinger

At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners, by Williaetta Spencer

The Festival Singers will premiere pieces by composer Kevin Gray based on poetry by William Blake and original poetry by two students who entered Carolina Voices and Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools "Poetry that Sings" competition held last fall. read more


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