The choral program at Presbyterian College has a long and honored tradition – with only three directors named as directors in the history of the college. Dr. Edouard Patte (1947-1965), Dr. Charles Gaines (1965-1998) and Dr. Porter Stokes (1998-present.) Dr. Ron Davis is also currently on staff and shares conducting duties with Dr. Stokes. The program is composed of three distinct choral organizations.
CANTARE! is the choir for men at PC. All men at PC are eligible for Cantare! which performs on- and off-campus every term. (Listen to Cantare! Awake Arise) BELLA VOCE is a choir for women. All women at PC are eligible to participate in Bella Voce which also performs on- and off-campus every term. (Listen to Bella Voce I Never Saw a Moor)
THE PC CHOIR is our select, auditioned, mixed choir. PC Choir tours every spring and performs 0ff-campus, on a limited basis, every term. (Listen to PC Choir – from Washington, DC.)
All of the choirs are involved in the Department of Music’s Christmas at PC series of annual concerts. Rehearsal and preparation for the Christmas at PC performances usually begins during the “pre-orientation” choir camp every August and continues throughout the Fall term. During the Christmas at PC performances, Cantare! and Bella Voce are combined to form a large SATB choir for truly monumental literature and a big sound. And, the repertoire for all three choirs leans heavily on the great body of sacred repertoire, but all choirs do perform secular material. (Listen to: IComeWithJoy-2013)
TOURS: A group of choral singers from PC toured in England and Scotland in March 2013, singing in several of the great cathedral spaces there. Most of the spring tours of the PC Choir are domestic and each of the tours attempts to cover a specific geographical area. Previous tours, for instance, have covered the territory from SC to NC, VA, DC, MD or SC, GA, FL. In 2014, the choir will present a performance in NC, then in the Richmond, VA, area before transporting to Atlanta, then Aiken/Augusta, Columbia, and Greenville, SC. The 2013 tour to the United Kingdom is an example of music students traveling together to prepare and present appropriate repertoire in great acoustical spaces, but also to visit, study, and experience art, architecture, travel, food, and situations in another culture.
These types of overseas trips can be taken (for academic credit) as partial fulfillment of PC’s Intercultural/Internship requirement that is part of the General Education program. By traveling together, experiencing all that is to offer from another culture, students not only expand their horizons beyond their own neighborhoods, but they learn to co-exist and to work together as a unit.
Listen to the (PC Choir: God Is Seen, 2013)