Upcoming Musical Events

No matter your taste in music, whether it be jazz, the symphony, the opera, local bands, national touring acts, chamber music and more, you’ll find it here. You can find local musicians playing live in our Acoustical Blends series. We have also put together an amazing group of Gilmer county’s best voices with our Community Chorus concerts as well as our annual B.E.S.T. Series events.

Get Involved Today …

Acoustic Blends

Acoustic Blends are free events open to the public, and open to all Musicians who want to play on stage, play along in the front row, or for those who just want to come for a good time….  It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!!! Since Covid hit, we have moved Acoustic Blend performances to video. Below you will find some of our artists who took the time to video their performances. We expect Acoustic Blends to get back to in pers

Register for Acoustical Blends

Register for Acoustical Blends

Community Chorus

The Gilmer Arts Community Chorus performs choral works of popular music, sacred, show tunes, patriotic and holiday selections, men’s chorus and women’s chorus, and an a cappella ensemble. We practice under the direction of multiple area conductors with many years’ experiences in choral conducting and performance. If you love to sing, can read music, and want to be a little challenged by some of the area’s best choral directors, come sing with us! You will really enjoy it!

Gilmer County has always had talented singers. Some sing in church choirs, others in
honky tonks, and some at public or private events as soloists or in bands. In early 2000, Jennifer St. Clair, the then Director of Music at Ellijay First United Methodist Church, started a program called Evening with the Arts. It featured instrumentalists and vocalists from First Baptist Church, First Methodist Church and others in the community.

From these concerts a core of singers developed who believed we could form a community wide chorus. Judith and John Rathbone, Jennifer St Clair, Lisa Lacy, Scott Eaton, Ellen Ottinger, Dan Worley, Bill and Cheryl Star, Cathy and Mike Smith and others all decided to perform Handel’s Messiah, directed by Ms. St. Clair, and form the very first Community Chorus later that year.

The performance was well received and attended, and so, Community Chorus in Gilmer County was born. Three years later, this group performed the Messiah once again, this time directed by Charles Bryant. In 2005, Lisa Lacy undertook the task of putting together a chorus program featuring the works of Rogers and Hammerstein. The number of chorus singers grew, the audience grew, and everyone had a grand time.

In 2007, the chorus did an Easter program directed by GHS choral teacher Brian Barrentine. In 2008, Scott Eaton led the chorus in a patriotic cantata called “Home of the Brave” featuring narration by Nathan Deal, a salute to the armed forces and flag ceremony. In 2009, Judith and John Rathbone, Paul Compton, Alison Baker, Dan Worley, Cathy and Mike Smith, Cheryl and Bill Star all started singing in the Mountain Community
Chorus in Young Harris GA.

This organization had been around for many years, and was 50 voices strong. MCC had multiple conductors for each season, and those conductors would be different each season. This concept allowed the conductors to
lead a few works, and then sing on the others. No one conductor had the task of constructing the whole program, leading full rehearsals, coordinating the members and music library. And it worked beautifully.

In 2012, John Rathbone became President of Gilmer Arts. He believed local Gilmer singers needed a full time horus that would perform in the spring and fall every year. He borrowed what he had learned from MCC: multiple conductors. He asked Judith Rathbone if she would accept the job of coordinating the music library, communications with the members and the conductors, direct a little, and she agreed.

A meeting was held in December 2012 with GHS choral director SarahnHarbin, FBC Music Minister Scott Eaton, FUMC Director of Music Charles Bryant, FBC piano accompanist Lisa Lacy, EES music teacher Ellen Ottinger, and the Rathbones. The plan was set into motion. Gilmer Arts would support the chorus with a place to rehearse, communications, marketing, sponsorship and ticket sales. The chorus would do a spring concert with five conductors, and plan on a fall program.

The Gilmer Arts Community Chorus was born. Singers also joined from Pickens and Fannin counties. In January of 2013, as auditions and rehearsals were to begin, Scott Eaton had to drop out due to over committing to other various musical and church related projects, and long time choral director and GA choral adjudicator Charles Claiborne and Pleasant Grove Baptist Church music minister Douglas Lee were added to the conductor roster. The Spring 2013 chorus launched and attracted 48 members and five conductors and was a big success.

The Gilmer Arts Community Chorus has performed a spring and fall concert every year since except for the Covid restricted years of 2020 and 2021. Thousands have attended and enjoyed the concerts over the years. Special programs featured narrators Gov. Nathan Deal and also Speaker of the House David Ralston. Joint concerts with the GHS chorus, EES chorus, salutes to the Christmas Holidays, to our veterans, Easter, folk music and Americana, Broadway and more have been a part of the concert series.

The chorus sometimes showcases a Men’s Ensemble, an A cappella Chorale, a Women’s Ensemble, a Barbershop quartet, and many soloists and instrumentalists within the concert programs. Gilmer Arts is proud to provide this successful program for our community of singers and listeners alike. Singing is the oldest musical expression of humanity. It draws people from all walks of life, of all ages, to participate and attend performances.

Choral works can be fun and bring a smile to your face. Choral works are often emotionally moving. The songs can be sacred or secular and in almost any style of music. There are usually about a dozen rehearsals weekly in the spring and fall prior to a concert. If you are a singer, consider joining the chorus. Be a part of a long history of singing together. You will be glad you did.

Conductors Charles E. Claiborne, Dr. Patrick Young, Hannah Carter, Susan & Soloist, Carli LeJeune with The Gilmer Arts Community Chorus and The Ellijay Elementary Children’s Chorus 

The Call of Music                                                Words and Music by Joseph M. Martin

The Wayfaring Stranger                                         Cheryl Star, Flautist
Arranged by Greg Gilpin

Bring me Little Water, Sylvie
Women of the Chorus
John Rathbone on bass
Soloists: Kimberly Weber & Melanie Johnson
 Arranged by Robert Jones

Ellijay Elementary Chorus
Down to the River to Pray
The Water is Wide
Falling Rain

Consider the Lilies: An Appalachian Requiem
Music & Arr. By Timothy Michael Powell
Soloist, Carli LeJeune
Cheryl Star, Flautist

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