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Champlain Valley Chorale to celebrate ‘American Song’

Concerts May 31 in Schroon, June 2 in Ti

Suzanne Sheppard, right, will present “Songs of Contemplation,” accompanied by her sister, Lisa Sheppard Hadley during the Champlain Valley Chorale performance in Ticonderoga Sunday, June 1.

Suzanne Sheppard, right, will present “Songs of Contemplation,” accompanied by her sister, Lisa Sheppard Hadley during the Champlain Valley Chorale performance in Ticonderoga Sunday, June 1.

— The Champlain Valley Chorale’s spring concert will be “A Celebration of American Song.”

Music of the late singers Etta James and Andy Williams along with composers Stephen Sondheim and Marvin Hamlisch will be featured.

“America lost a number of outstanding musicians in 2012, and I was inspired to recognize them when choosing pieces for this session,” Jeris French, chorale director, said.

The Champlain Valley Chorale will perform at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Schroon Lake on Friday, May 31, at 7:30 p.m. and at the First United Methodist Church in Ticonderoga on Sunday, June 2, at 3 p.m.

“A free will offering will be taken, a portion of which will be donated to the North Country Humane Society in keeping with the chorale’s commitment to serve the needs of the community,” French said.

Vaughn Watson will be the accompanist. The Champlain Valley Strings will provide a musical interlude and accompany the chorale on its opening number.

A highlight of the concerts will be a work arranged by Robert DeCormier of Belmont, Vt., conductor of the professional vocal ensemble Counterpoint.

A performance of a new work by contemporary composer Suzanne Sheppard will also be part of the Ticonderoga program.

“She credits inspiration for her musical career to her high school music teacher Rachel Batchelder, a former director of the Champlain Valley Chorale,” French said.

Batchelder is French’s mother.

Sheppard will present “Songs of Contemplation,” accompanied by her sister, Lisa Sheppard Hadley.

Suzanne Sheppard is an accomplished composer, pianist and educator who holds a doctor of musical arts degree in music composition and a master’s in music from the University of Michigan and a bachelor of music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music.

As a composer, she has received several honors and awards for her work, including the Charles Ives Prize from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, an ASCAP Foundations Grant to Young Composers Award and two awards from the Composers Guild.

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