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Showtime for Lassiter, Walton Choruses

Tuesday night's joint concert with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians is a "once in a lifetime" event.

Several months after a flap that ended their holiday concerts with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, two East Cobb high school choruses will get their chance to share the stage with the pros tonight.

At the new Lassiter High School Concert Hall, the Lassiter and Walton choruses will appear with ASO musicians in a long-promised concert.

The event, which begins at 7 p.m., features a total of nearly 200 students, plus more than 60 ASO musicians, and will benefit the booster clubs of both school choruses.

"My kids are so excited, they're about to pop," Lassiter chorus director Brian Williams said. "It's been a wonderful thing to see them prepare for this. It's been a real learning experience. We want it to be something that falls into the music education of our kids."

In August, the Lassiter and Walton choral communities got a different -- and rather unpleasant -- lesson when ASO management announced that it would invite only a portion of their choruses to appear for its holiday concert.

ASO officials said they wanted to include other school choruses to broaden the diversity of the student performers. Lassiter and Walton withdrew, preferring to send their full groups.

At the same time, ASO musicians involved in a labor battle offered to perform with the East Cobb students, and tonight's concert was announced in January.

Williams didn't care to revisit what he called "the past unpleasantness. We want to show our students the collaborative nature of music. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity."

He praised the efforts of ASO bassist Michael Kurth and cellist Joel Dallow for their efforts in helping coordinate the event.

The four pieces to be performed tonight "are concert pieces that we felt the kids could involve themselves in at an artistic level," Williams said:

  • "O Fortuna," from "Carmina Burana," by Carl Orff;
  • "Lacrimosa," from the "Requiem in D minor," by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart;
  • "How lovely is thy dwelling place," from "A German Requiem," by Johannes Brahms;
  • "Hallelujah," from "Christ on the Mount of Olives," by Ludwig von Beethoven.

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