Children’s Chorus Wins Big in New York

Take nearly 60 youthful singers, pack them into three buses with assorted relatives, and haul them to New York for a long Spring-break weekend. Then listen to how wonderfully they sing, first for the judges, and then for an audience at the famed Riverside Church. That’s how the Tar River Children’s Chorus spent the weekend after Easter.

The musical quality of the Tar River Children’s Chorus is evidenced by the fact that the entire choir, as well as each of its sub-groups, Cantare and Concert Chorus, came away from the Heritage National Music Festival on April 6 with three “Superior” (Gold) ratings. The entire Chorus also won the coveted “Spirit Award” from the Festival, as “the choir that best represented its community,” and the Concert Chorus (grades 7-12) was ranked 2nd in the 1A (Highschool) Division of this national Heritage Festival.

Two of the pieces performed by the TRCC were composed specially for the choir by its conductor of 19 years, Rocky Mount’s own Patsy Gilliland. Besides participating in the Heritage Festival, the choristers also had freedom to enjoy a few of New York’s attractions. They watched a Broadway musical, Newsies, shopped in Chinatown, visited various museums and generally had a good time. A dinner cruise and dance around New York harbor provided a great ending to Saturday evening.

The TRCC, under leadership of Conductor Patsy Gilliland, will perform its Festival music for the Rocky Mount area at 7:00 pm on Friday, April 26, at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 301 Circle Drive. The Chorus will also perform as part of the Tar River Orchestra and Chorus in the Spring Concert at 2:00 pm, Sunday, April 21, in the Dunn Center at NC Wesleyan College.

The TRCC is open, by audition, to children grades 3-12. Audition information will be available at