Local soprano organizes “Candlelight Christmas” concert
By Kathryn McBroom
This year, Morgan County has a new event to add to its busy holiday calendar.
“Candlelight Christmas: A Hometown Celebration of Song” will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. at Madison’s Church of the Advent. Admission is free.
Organizer Rachel Sterrenberg will be a featured soprano. Other special guests will include local classical guitarist Rylan Smith, the Lake Oconee Community Choir and Rev. Gary Arnold of the Lake Oconee Community Church.
According to Sterrenberg, the concert will consist of “sacred music,” and will include a variety of styles including Old English, classic modern standards and more recent holiday music.
After talking with her parents and friends over the summer, Sterrenberg decided to organize the event to provide another Christmas concert in Madison, in addition to the one already presented by the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center. Sterrenberg says it will be a more informal concert and will give Morgan County citizens “an opportunity to see talented local musicians.”
Sterrenberg, a Morgan County native, is pretty talented herself. She is currently studying music at the University of Kentucky, a winner of the Alltech Undergraduate Opera Scholarship competition during her senior year of high school.
“Music has been a passion for me since I can remember. I started piano lessons at age five,” Sterrenberg said.
She added, “I have sung in church since around age 10, but didn't start classical voice training until I started high school, studying under Dr. Stephanie Tingler at UGA.”
Although she is only in her sophomore year at University of Kentucky, Sterrenberg has already won numerous vocal competitions. In October she had a small supporting part in her first opera, University of Kentucky world-premier opera “River of Time.”
As Sterrenberg says, “It's been an exciting first year and a half of college!”
Sterrenberg picked the Church of the Advent because of its intimate setting and beautiful interior. She encourages everyone to come, and estimates the event will only be about an hour long.
“Candlelight Christmas” is being sponsored by St. James Catholic Church, Church of the Advent and Lake Oconee Community Church.