The Winston-Salem Symphony Chorus presents ‘Soul of the World: A Hymn to St. Cecilia’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 4, 2021

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WINSTON-SALEM — The Winston-Salem Symphony Chorus under the direction of Dr. Christopher Gilliam will present a concert honoring the patron saint of music, St. Cecilia, at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21. The Winston-Salem Symphony Chorus is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and is delighted to be back performing in front of a live audience. The concert will take place at Wait Chapel on the campus of Wake Forest University.

Accompanied by chamber orchestra and organ, the chorus and soloists will perform a selection of powerful and moving choral works. The concert will include organ music by Margaret Sandresky, a beloved alumna and retired professor of music at Salem Academy and College, who celebrated her 100th birthday in April. The chorus will perform contemporary British composer Cecilia McDowall’s haunting “Cecilia, Busy Like a Bee,” which was adapted from the text of the Divine Office for St Cecilia’s Day. Gerald Finzi, a 20th-century British composer, wrote “For St. Cecilia, Op. 30,” a resplendent ceremonial piece, in 1946–47. “Hail! Bright Cecilia!,” Z. 328 is an ode to St. Cecilia by renowned baroque composer Henry Purcell.

“The symphony chorus is delighted to be back together preparing for this wonderfully diverse concert of rarely performed choral masterpieces,” said Christopher Gilliam, director of the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorus. “The Finzi, in particular, is an oeuvre of such grand scale that it really must be heard in live performance. In addition to all the wonderful choral singing by the chorus, fantastic instrumental playing by John Cummins (organ), chamber members from the symphony, and a solo vocal performance by local star soprano Jodi Burns, the chorus has a special surprise at the conclusion of the concert that the audience will absolutely love and that they definitely won’t want to miss!”

Tickets are $25 (price includes sales tax) for general admission seating. Tickets are available in advance by calling the symphony box office at 336-464-0145 or online at Please note, all patrons attending Winston-Salem Symphony events must present proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test, and masks are required. For more information, visit

This concert is sponsored by season presenting sponsors Bell, Davis, & Pitt, P.A. and Truist, concert sponsor AM Erectors, as well as the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County and the North Carolina Arts Council.