Wingate choral group tops off double-header

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By Nita Brown

After a piano recital by award-winning pianist Gregory Knight on Sunday, the 35 voices of the Wingate University Singers top off a cultural double-header next Tuesday evening.
The singers, who perform at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Lancaster Cultural Arts Center on East Gay Street, enjoy both national and international recognition, but their home base is just across the state line in Wingate, N.C.
Led for the last 14 years by Dr. Kenny Potter, the college’s music department chair and director of choral activities, the Wingate University Singers have performed all over the Southeast and abroad.
They have traveled to the Baltic countries of Estonia and Latvia, where they received Grand Prix honors at the Pärnu International Choral Festival, and to Austria and the Czech Republic. They will return to South Africa this May as part of the same Spring tour that will be performed here in Lancaster.
Dr. Potter himself is also well recognized as both a director and singer. A versatile conductor, he served as the artistic director and conductor of the Union Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his responsibilities at Wingate, he currently serves as the director of choruses of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, artistic director of the Charlotte Master Chorale, and choral conductor at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte.
He has been a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall, and was choir soloist for the Grammy-winning Oregon Bach Festival choir, among other notable performances.
Concert coordinator John Craig said the Cultural Arts Center is becoming a desirable venue for performers, something of which Lancaster can be proud. He said friends at Wingate University contacted him about performing at the CAC, “because of its outstanding acoustics and historic ambiance.”
Logistics also offered a challenge, Craig said. When reminded that the CAC stage is not very large for a 35-member choir, he said, Potter responded: “We will make it work.”
Potter said the music will appeal to people of all ages and interests. The choir’s repertoire ranges from sacred music of the Renaissance to current popular music. This performance will include South African songs, something new for the audience, and Potter will explain the background on these unfamiliar pieces.
Both of this week’s concerts are sponsored by the Lancaster County Society for Historical Preservation, The Craig Farm Historical Presentation Foundation and the Lancaster County Council of the Arts. Proceeds will help fund the planned additions and renovations at the Cultural Arts Center.
For more information, call John Craig at (347) 604-2179.


Want to go?
What: Wingate University Singers
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19
Where: Lancaster Cultural Arts Center, 307 W. Gay St., Lancaster
Admission: Advance will-call tickets are $10 per person; at the door, $15
Tickets: www.lccarts.net/tickets or (803) 285-7451