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Local News

December 2, 2011

Local choirs to perform in MusicFest

ROCKWALL — Rockwall MusicFest will be presenting Rockwall County’s welcome to the holidays at Utley Performing Arts Center on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. The program features the high school choirs from Rockwall, Rockwall-Heath and Royse City, along with the Blast of Brass quintet, performing Christmas classics and conducting an audience sing-along.

The Royse City choir is relatively young, having been in existence for only 12 years now. The choir has grown from only 21 students in 2009 to 75 this year. Under the direction of Shelba Gorham-Bell the choirs have traveled to New York City, and in 2009 participated in a statewide competition in San Antonio to bring home not only a superior rating but Best in Class and Overall Outstanding Choir. This year the choir will compete again in San Antonio.

The Rockwall High School Choirs, under the direction of Sandra Hess, And the Rockwall-Heath Varsity Chorale, directed by Natalie McCollough, have consistently done well at state competitions, both group and solo/ensemble.

The Blast of Brass Quintet consists of professional musicians from North Texas and Oklahoma. The performers hail from renowned orchestras such as the New World Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera Orchestra and the Dallas Wind Symphony. They include Tim Andersen and Oscar Passley on trumpet, Chris Jackson, French horn, Keith Meek, trombone, and Jarrod Robertson, tuba.

A Christmas tree provided by Helping Hands of Rockwall will be on stage, and concert attendees are asked to bring an unwrapped toy to put under it. Toys will be given to underprivileged kids served by the organization.

Purchase tickets online by going to and click on the “donate” button. Specify “Christmas concert tickets” in your comments as you complete the process. Provide your name for pickup at “will call”.

Rockwall MusicFest is a community run organization dedicated to the promotion of the arts through music. Our efforts focus on the establishment and maintenance of the Rockwall Symphony Orchestra and other like endeavors throughout the year. Fund-raisers and donations keep us moving forward and help to ensure that all of our citizens are afforded the opportunity to enjoy the benefit music brings to their lives.

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