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Celebrate 50 years of Voices of North Georgia this October
Gainesville's community chorus singing in a half-century
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Voices of North Georgia rehearse Monday, Oct. 1, at First Baptist Church. The choir is celebrating its 50th concert season and will have fall performances Oct. 12 and Oct. 14. - photo by Scott Rogers
Voices of North Georgia Fall Concert

When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 and 3 p.m. Oct. 14

Where: St. Paul United Methodist Church, 404 Washington St., Gainesville.

How much: $15 general admission; $5 for under 11 years old; $12 for seniors and students

More info: 770-534-5141,,

Voices of North Georgia will be soon be celebrating its 50th concert season.  

“There’s not a lot of arts groups that have lasted this long,” said Bruce Nunley, artistic director and conductor of the chorus. “It’s definitely a group that’s worthwhile, a group that matters.”

The community of singers presents a variety of sacred and secular music throughout Gainesville and the surrounding North Georgia community. According to its website, the group also “provides a forum for its members to gather for fellowship.”

To celebrate its 50 years, the community chorus will perform some of its highlights throughout the upcoming season.

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Recognize any of these faces? The Voices of North Georgia chorus is photographed in 1977, and this year the group is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Image courtesy of Bruce Nunley.

“Every concert is a greatest hit,” he said. “They are pieces that our audience enjoyed the most and we enjoyed the most presenting them.”

The season will begin with a fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12 and 3 p.m. Oct. 14 at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Gainesville.

The performance will include classical music, such as selections by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Faure.
“Even if someone isn't crazy about classical music, they will probably enjoy this concert just because of the beauty of the music,” he said. “It should appeal to a lot of people.”
In addition to performing some of their greatest hits, Voices of North Georgia will be celebrating the 50th season with a commissioned piece by Dennis and Nan Allen.  

“They’ve been writing music for choruses for years, decades,” he said about the couple. “We’re hoping it’s a piece that we’ll be able to use and sing at the end of each of our concerts from now on — like our theme song, you might say.”
The group will also have an orchestra in some of the concerts thanks to a $10,000 Partner Grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts.

“All of our concerts are going to be bigger because of that. Instead of having maybe just a few instrumentalists for our fall concert, we have a 16-piece orchestra that's going to be accompanying us.”

He said the chorus, which was formerly known as the Gainesville Chorale, has changed quite a bit since its beginning back in 1968.

“It was started by Jo Casper,” Nunley said. “She was a big name in the music area in Gainesville for many years. And the first director of the group was Bob Haynes, who at that time was the minister of music at First Baptist Church. Basically they got the group together so they could present a concert for the Gainesville Music Club.”

He said the group now presents a wider variety of music than it did back then.

“At the beginning, all the music was basically sacred in nature,” he said. “Nowadays, we present a wide variety of music, from Bach and people before that in Renaissance times to modern-day broadway showtunes (and) pop songs.”

The chorus also has more performances than it used to, and he mentioned they have traveled to places such as Europe and even Carnegie Hall.

“We perform more, and we’re always looking for places to go and sing,” he said. “We now give three main concert weekends every season, plus our gala.”

He said Voices of North Georgia has become “truly a community chorus.”

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Voices of North Georgia rehearse Monday, Oct. 1 at First Baptist Church in preparation for its 50th concert season. The choir will have fall performances Oct. 12 and Oct. 14. - photo by Scott Rogers
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