Celebrating their 40th year of bringing the joy of song to our community at Christmas, the Hilton Head Choral Society’s annual "The Sounds of Christmas Concert, A Merrie Olde Christmas” is at 8:00 pm. on Friday, Dec. 11 at First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Pwky, Hilton Head.
A 100-voice ensemble makes up this talented chorus and includes some very gifted women who bring years of experience and expertise, which contribute to the harmonious sound of the group.
One of those beautiful voices is Gayle Lang’s, a member of the HHCS for the past ten years. Lang has been singing since she was 8 years old, when her choir teacher encouraged her parents to enroll her in singing lessons. That is when her life in the arts began, and decades later her passion for music remains strong. Lang has performed professionally as a soloist with symphony orchestras and opera companies across the U.S., including the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She also spent 25 years in musical theatre as an award-winning actor and producer. Her recordings include numerous commercial jingles, a Christmas CD and a documentary score for TV. Lang serves on the HHCS Marketing Committee and is proud to be part of a chorus that has such a long-standing history in the community.
The chorus is fortunate to have another very talented and passionate singer, with a rich history in the arts, Mona Huff. Huff said she would’ve never moved to the Island if there wasn’t a choral society in the area; she joined the group just three weeks after relocating here in 2006. Growing up, music was always a big part of Huff’s life, singing in choruses since the age of 10. For more than 32 years, Huff sang with a chorus in New York City, often performing at Carnegie Hall, before bringing her love of music to the Lowcountry to perform with the HHCS.
“When you sing in a chorus the collaboration is a very emotional piece,” says Huff. “I feel completely immersed in the music while making it.” She even jokes that singing is a form of therapy for her.
Linda Neff is another brilliant voice that adds to the beautiful sound of the group. For the last two years, Neff and her husband have served as co-presidents of the HHCS. It’s a job she considers both challenging and fulfilling, as they guide the organization into new realms of performance and stature in the arts community. Neff’s history in music began before she was even born. Her parents actually met in a singing organization. After majoring in voice in college, she sang with church choirs and choruses in various cities including the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus. Neff joined the HHCS in 2003, shortly after arriving in Hilton Head and was thrilled to find a chorus of such high caliber.
To hear the magic of these talented women, along with over 100 men and women who make up the choral society, don’t miss this performance. "The Sounds of Christmas" concert will be performed by the full chorus and orchestra. It includes traditional holiday Christmas music and will also feature a portion of Handel’s Messiah.
All seating is reserved and ticket prices are $20, $25, $30 or $35. Tickets may be ordered online or purchased at the door the night of the concert, if available. For more details, call 843-341-3818, visit www.hiltonheadchoralsociety.org or like Hilton Head Choral Society on Facebook.