If anyone is excited for the Plant City Community Choir to get back into its concert groove, it is Kenneth Watts.
Watts, who was named the group’s director in late 2013, has big plans for the PCCC’s first concert of the new year, a two-night series called “A Night of Spirituals & Other Songs of Inspiration.” The series, which comes to Valrico and Plant City next weekend, will be Watts’ second production with the organization and one he hopes will be as successful as the Christmas concert.
“The Christmas concert was awesome,” Watts says. “Very, very well-received. Thunderous applause, a standing ovation, a really good audience.”
This time, Watts is focusing more on songs of the human spirit and presenting them in such a way that audiences may not have heard before. The repertoire will feature traditional songs rearranged for choral voices, such as “God Has Smiled on Me,” “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” “Soon and Very Soon,” and “Were You There?” But, the choir is particularly excited about the re-imaginings of other classic hymns, such as “His Eye Is On the Sparrow,” “Children Go Where I Send Thee” and “Afrika Gloria.”
The choir also will perform a special version of “Amazing Grace” that Watts heard after celebrating the Fourth of July one year in Philadelphia.
“I just hear luscious chords coming from a piano on the balcony, and a soprano is singing ‘Amazing Grace’ to the tune of ‘House of the Rising Sun,’” Watts says. “He had changed the chords of this piece to accompany the soprano, and I asked this guy to write it down for me.”
Joining the PCCC for these events is notable community performer Paul Hetrick, a baritone, who will sing several solos.
“He is awesome,” he says of Hetrick. “The two pieces he is singing — choral parts — are fairly repetitive, but he brings energy and life to those songs, the likes of which I have not heard in a long time.”
Contact Justin Kline at email@example.com.
IF YOU GO
“A Night of Spirituals & Other Songs of Inspiration”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. April 4 and 5. Doors open at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, 604 N. Valrico Road (April 4); St. Clement Catholic Church, 1104 N. Alexander St. (April 5).
COST: $10 for advance tickets purchased from PCCC member or pccommunitychoir.com; $12 at the door. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door for children 12 and under, and seniors 62 and older. Tickets are available at the Plant City Chamber of Commerce office and the office of St. Clement Catholic Church.
INFO: Visit pccommunitychoir.com or call Diane Silliman, (813) 781-9674