Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"The Sound of Angels" Perfomance by the Georgia Singers at First Presbyterian Church in Peachtree City December 6

Sunday, December 6
6:30 pm
First Presbyterian Church in Peachtree City

The holiday concert performed by the Georgia Singers features sacred and secular opening sections followed by delightful seasonal selections and the singing of congregational carols.

The Georgia Singers is a new force in choral music for women's voices in Fayette County. This talented group of young women is quickly establishing its artistry as a unique community resource.

The talented Peachtree City singers are directed by Dr. Franklin Green, who is nationally known for his work with young women's voices and accompanied by Mr. Rick Massengale, Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in Fayetteville.

Free Admission
Ticket required
A free-will offering will be taken.
Childcare will be provided for ages 4 and younger.

For more information or to reserve a ticket, please call 770-487-7757 or email

First Presbyterian Church
206 Willow Bend Rd
Peachtree City

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Atlanta Jazz Non-Profit, Orchestra Atlanta, Announces Name Change to Jazz Orchestra Atlanta

/PRNewswire/ -- Orchestra Atlanta, a 23-year-old, not-for-profit arts organization based in Atlanta, GA, today announces its official name change to "Jazz Orchestra Atlanta," reinforcing the organization's shift in commitment to the advancement of the best in jazz education and performance. The group continues to produce professional jazz performances by a resident repertory big band featuring high-caliber jazz musicians from Atlanta and the Southeast. Jazz Orchestra Atlanta also continues running its popular Summer Jazz Camps for metro Atlanta middle and high school students. The camp is held at Georgia State University, and in 2010 JOA will premier a Vocal Jazz Workshop featuring the internationally recognized vocal group The New York Voices, who will join JOA's big band in a special closing concert at the Rialto Theater.

"The decision to change the name officially was an easy one," says JOA Executive and Artistic Director, Dr. Brent Runnels. "Our focus really shifted over the past several years as audiences showed a great deal of enthusiasm for the jazz concerts we added to our programming. We recognized an important musical niche was not being filled in Atlanta, and our professional big band performances fill that nicely. We found we had already carved out a niche for advancing superior jazz education, so filing with the State to make the name change official was the logical next step to demonstrate our commitment to the new mission and vision for the organization. Our audience and everyone at JOA are very excited about it."

Jazz Orchestra Atlanta Strengthens Board of Directors and Fundraising Efforts

In addition, the Jazz Orchestra Atlanta recently added several new contributing members to their diverse Board of Directors. "Our board is a blend of professional men and women who represent a wonderful cross section of large and small Atlanta businesses, and local professional musicians," continued Runnels, "with common threads of enthusiasm for the art of jazz music, and the community stature we need to help us achieve our goals."

Recent additions to the board include Mark Williamson, a partner at Alston and Bird; Phil Williamson, a CPA and tax director of Mirant Corporation; Steve Brown, avid musician, pilot and project management consultant; Robert Scarr of Delta Airlines; Jerry McEver, musician , teacher and School Music Recruiting Specialist and Consultant; Greg Coile, a well-known Atlanta musician and teacher; and Joe Gransden, one of Atlanta's best known jazz musicians. "The addition of these members and their contributions further strengthen and diversify Jazz Orchestra Atlanta's board and proves the community commitment and interest in the art form of jazz and its ongoing proliferation in Metro Atlanta," said Mark Williamson, JOA Board Chair.

The JOA Board of Directors meets monthly to determine policy, programming, marketing, and resource development while encouraging awareness and interest in Jazz Orchestra Atlanta's programs.

The result of Jazz Orchestra Atlanta's work can be seen regularly at venues like Cafe 290 in Sandy Springs, where Joe Gransden and the JOA big band play shows twice monthly on the first and third Mondays, and in featured events at the Woodruff Arts Center and Spivey Hall, where Jazz Orchestra Atlanta will join with Joe Gransden to present a Big Band Christmas Show. More information is available at:

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Ring in the season with the annual GSU Gala Holiday Concert

The Georgia State University School of Music and the Rialto Center for the Arts present the 12th annual Gala Holiday Concert at 8 p.m. on Dec. 5 and 3 p.m. on Dec. 6. at the Rialto Center for the Arts.

This year's performances will feature traditional holiday favorites as well as music with an international twist, celebrating the Rialto and School of Music's international initiatives and involvement in the community.

More than 200 student and faculty musicians will perform as part of this university-wide celebration of the season, including members of the University Symphony Orchestra, Choruses and Jazz Band.

Conductors Michael Palmer, Gordon Vernick and Jeffery Wall will lead the ensembles and soloists in a musical assortment of works by Duke Ellington, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Janowski, Handel and Holst, as well as a world premiere by Georgia State faculty member Nickitas Demos of Fantasy on Kalanta for Saint Basil.

The performances will also feature special guest appearances by members of Atlanta's diverse cultural community. Members of the Cao Ying Dance School will perform the Chinese dance, Avalokitesvara, and students from the Charles Drew R. Charter School will perform Kakilambe, a dance of healing and harvest from Guinea, West Africa, performed to instruments of the djembe orchestra.

The School of Music has had a partnership with the Drew Charter School, located in the East Lake neighborhood of Atlanta, since 2006, thanks to a multi-year grant from the Cousins Foundation, Inc.

The program will conclude with Sim Shalom, a Hebrew song of peace, Handel's Hallelujah Chorus and an audience sing-along. Rounding out the festivities, the Georgia State University School of Art and Design will present an art exhibit in the Rialto Lobby, where a student brass quintet will play for audience members as they arrive.

Tickets range from $22-$48 and are available in person at the Rialto Center Box Office, by calling 404-413-9TIX or online at Free parking is provided at the Equitable Building deck on Fairlie Street.

For more information, visit

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Chubby Checker to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of the Twist in Newnan , GA

Chubby Checker has chosen Historic Downtown Newnan as his Georgia location to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the legendary song “The Twist”. The Historic Alamo Theater will be the host of the legendary singer and his band the Wildcats on November 22, 2009 as a benefit concert for the Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta. This will be Checker’s only show in Georgia. Other shows in the south will be in Mississippi and Florida .

Checker’s manager, Tommy C. chose the location on a recent visit to Georgia. He was immediately impressed with the look and the history of the venue and felt that downtown Newnan had the right “feel” for the celebration. He approached the owner about getting the City of Newnan on board as well as the local charities. Amy Murphy, co-owner of the Alamo says, “I couldn’t have thought of a better charity than the local Boys and Girls Club. They make such an impact in our community. When I approached Main Street Newnan, they immediately agreed to help and the event took off from there! How exciting for the citizens of Newnan to be able to see Chubby Checker perform in the same place that many of them used to come to the movies in high school.” Murphy and her partners returned the Alamo movie theater to an entertainment venue from a gift store five years ago.

In June of 1959, Chubby recorded "The Twist". Bernie Lowe, president of Cameo Parkway records was not initially impressed with Chubby's recording and felt it may be a "B" side at best. However, Chubby felt "The Twist" was something special and worked hard promoting the record by undertaking non-stop rounds of TV dates, interviews and live performances. Fourteen months later, in the summer of 1960, "The Twist" was a hit.

"The Twist" was not only the #1 song but it introduced the concept of "dancing apart to the beat". Over the next few years, endless songs incorporating "The Twist" into its name sprang up such as "Peppermint Twist", "Twist and Shout" and "Twistin' the Night Away". In addition, each new song brought a new dance involving "dancing apart to the beat" such as "The Jerk", "The Hully Gully", "The Boogaloo" and "The Shake". At the forefront was Chubby with "The Fly", "The Pony" and "The Hucklebuck".

The next few years were prolific for Chubby as hit followed hit. In 1961, Chubby recorded "Pony Time" written by Don Covay and John Berry. It went to #1 and stayed on the charts for 16 weeks. In between recording and touring, Chubby took time to add feature films to his portfolio with the releases of "Don't Knock The Twist" and "Twist Around The Clock".

In the fall of 1961, record industry history was made when Checker's original hit record, "The Twist", re-entered the charts and by January of 1962, it was back in the #1 position. No other record before or since has accomplished that feat. Combining its 1960 run with its 1961/62 return, "The Twist" spent an amazing nine month total on the U. S. best seller charts.

Chubby Checker merchandise was everywhere, and included T-shirts, shoes, ties, dolls, raincoats, and chewing gum. His success continued for years with the release of one dance record after another, with "The Fly" and "Let's Twist Again", for which he won a Grammy for the "Best Rock Performance". More hit records followed. "Slow Twistin'", Dancin' Party", "Popeye the Hitchhiker" and "The Limbo Rock" all came along in 1962. 1963 saw Checker return to the hit parade with "Birdland" and "Twist It Up", after which he followed with "Loddy Lo" and a series of other novelty type tunes. Eventually, teens incorporated these movements to all songs that had a beat and called these movements "The Boogie", a permanent fixture in Rock and Roll.

Tickets will be $75, limited to 300 and will go on sale October 15th. They will be available at the Boys and Girls Club on Wesley Street , the Alamo , or Fabiano’s Pizza on West Court Square in downtown Newnan. Information is available by calling 770-683-2683.

The City of Newnan will be proclaiming November 23, 2009 “Chubby Checker Day”. The Adopt-A-Soldier Program will be holding an antique car show from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. the afternoon of November 22nd prior to the concert. The show will have a fifties and sixties theme and feature a twist contest and special prizes. For more information on the car show call 770-328-4763.
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Friday, November 06, 2009

All Together Now: The Beatles Return to Mono

Is the monobox set of Beatles recordings a marketing gimmick, or will listeners really hear something different?

From the White Album to Yellow Submarine modern releases of the Beatles present their music in stereo sound. But this Christmas, hard-core Beatles fans will eagerly unwrap "The Beatles in Mono," an 11-CD box set designed to be played through only one speaker.

These days, we usually hear mono sound coming out of tinny telephone receivers, but that's not how this album sounds, said Alex Case, a professor of sound recording technology at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. It will be more like unwrapping a newly-minted Beatles vinyl record and playing it for the first time.

During the 60s, the Beatles were not interested in stereo sound. They recorded each song on two tracks that were merged by their producer George Martin to be playable in monophonic sound, the standard of the day. Fans listened to the songs on mono record players and radio stations, which were almost all on the AM band at the time.

Some of these early albums were mixed for stereo sound, but this was an afterthought, hastily engineered for use on FM radio stations. During the 1980s, sound engineers created CD-quality sound in a lower-quality physical digital format, not a virtual digital format that most of today's music-lovers expect. Remastering technology was more primitive then, and could only create a slightly better sound than the stereo FM version.

Now this new box set digitizes the original analog tapes with mixing techniques designed to be more faithful to Martin's approach. Martin recorded the two main elements of each song -- the vocals and the instruments -- on separate tracks, so that one or the other could be emphasized in the music. Other sounds such as tambourines or clapping were recorded on both tracks, so that if, say, the drums were turned down, the other elements wouldn't be lost.

For the new albums, some corrections also had to be made because the master tapes have disintegrated over the years.

Another difference for U.S. listeners: these tunes are the original UK versions of the songs. Years ago, engineers remixing the songs for the U.S. added more reverb and echo, Case said. The new release goes back to the original UK versions, Martin's original mixes of the Fab Four.

By Martha Heil
Inside Science News Service
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