Cover To Cover is the anchor program for GPB’s literary coverage. Cover To Cover features a collection of distinctive Southern voices interviewing Georgia writers, Southern writers, and writers dealing with the South. The GPB Southern Lit Cadre will provide you with a varied, weekly glimpse at fiction, non-fiction, history, poetry, and even the occasional ‘old school’ nod to Flannery O’Connor or William Faulkner.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Roman Christmas

One of the things I like best about my job is the opportunity to travel around the state and meet folks who listen to one of our stations or watch GPB TV. It’s humbling to hear how much people enjoy GPB’s programming and how important it is to their lives. And as I technically work for the members of GPB (since they provide the funding for our programming), these opportunities remind me of what my priorities should be.

I have one such opportunity tonight. I will be in Rome (Georgia, not Italy!) to take part in a new community-wide event the city’s organizing for the first time.

The Christmas Candlelight Concert takes place tonight at 6:30PM in Historic Downtown Rome. It features a 300-voice community choir comprised of community, church, and school groups accompanied by a large orchestra.

The choir will process by candlelight from City Hall down Broad Street and into The Forum Civic Center where it will join the orchestra and narrators for traditional Christmas music and the reading of the Christmas story.

I will be narrating the Nativity story from the King James version of the Gospel of Luke.

This first ever Christmas Candlelight Concert in Rome is, of course, free and open to all comers.

You can watch the processional along Broad Street beginning at 6:30PM before entering The Forum for the concert. Alternatively, you can go straight to The Forum early where the orchestra will present a selection of Christmas music. The performance by the combined choirs, orchestra, and narration begins at 7:00PM inside The Forum.

The massed choir includes the following groups: Three Rivers Singers; Shorter College; Armuchee Middle School; First Baptist Church of Rome; First United Methodist Church of Rome; Second Avenue Methodist Church; St. Peters Episcopal Church Youth Choir; Trinity United Methodist Church; Pepperrell Middle School; Pepperell High School; Model Middle School & Model High School; and Westminster Presbyterian Church. They will all be under the direction of Kam Malone.

The orchestra, under the direction of Sam Baltzer is comprised of the Northwest Georgia Winds & New Horizons Band.

Also taking part will be the First Baptist Church Handbell Choir under the direction of Keith Reaves; the Unity Christian School Steel Drum Band under the direction of Bill King; and soloist Dr. Regina Zona, Assistant Professor of Music at Shorter College.

This Christmas Candlelight Concert promises to be a spectacular event and the start of a wonderful tradition in Floyd County.

I’m grateful to have been asked to participate and look forward to meeting lots of GPB listeners while I’m there. The GPB station in Rome, WGPB/97.7FM, is the newest in the GPB radio network of 16 stations across the state, and this event gives me the chance to reinforce our presence in Northwest Georgia and meet new listeners.

If you live in Northwest Georgia I hope you’ll come along this evening. The Holiday season is upon us and tonight’s concert should put everyone in the mood for a joyous Christmastime.

See you tonight maybe?

[I always welcome your comments and questions at]