Chancel Choir of First Presbyterian Church

This season features a collaboration with the Chancel Choir of First Presbyterian Church, Dr. Aaron Rice, Director of Classic Music Ministry.  This three movement setting uses a tapestry of sonorous harmonies that are triumphant, reflective and energetic to encompass both the history and the relevance of one of the oldest texts in the Christian tradition.

The Chancel Choir is the primary choral ensemble for weekly worship leadership in the Classic Service at First Presbyterian Church. This group has a rich history of presenting thoughtful sacred music that encourages God’s people to respond in praise and prayer. During the festivals of the church year, the Chancel Choir presents major works for choir and orchestra, and has commissioned new works in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Aaron M. Rice serves as Director of Classic Music Ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Rome, GA where he directs the Chancel Choir. The Classic Music Ministry has a rich legacy of encouraging and facilitating worship through thoughtful sacred music. During the high festivals of the church year the Chancel Choir presents major works with orchestra for the congregation and the Rome community. Prior to arrival in Rome, he served churches in North Carolina and Texas.

Dr. Rice also serves as Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities in the Edith Lester Harbin Department of Music at Shorter University, where he conducts the Shorter Chorale, Men’s and Women’s Choirs, and the Shorter Chorus. He teaches conducting and choral methods for students in the music education and church music degrees. Prior to his appointment at Shorter, Dr. Rice taught at Chowan University in Murfreesboro, NC. 

Rice has prepared choirs for performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. While completing his DMA, he served as Associate Conductor for the Southwestern Master Chorale, which routinely performed with the Fort Worth Symphony.

A native of North Carolina, Rice received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Church Music and Choral Conducting at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas where he studied with David Thye. He earned the Master of Music degree in Sacred Music and Choral Conducting at East Carolina University as a student of Daniel Bara, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in both biblical studies and comprehensive music from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.

As a member of American Choral Director’s Association, Rice has performed as a chorister on state and regional concert programs. As Exhibits Chair for the Southern Division of ACDA, he works with other choral directors in the southeast to coordinate the biennial conferences. Rice is a past executive board member of the Baptist Church Music Conference and a member of Pi Kappa Lambda.

Dr. Rice lives in Rome with his wife, Lane, and their two children.

Commissioned by a consortium of 10 choirs for simultaneous nationwide premieres during the 2018-2019 season, Michael John Trotta’s Gloria is a 14-minute work for choir, brass, organ, and percussion.  This three movement setting uses a tapestry of sonorous harmonies that are triumphant, reflective and energetic to encompass both the history and the relevance of one of the oldest texts in the Christian tradition.

Hear Samples and Get a Preview Score

Gloria
for Choir, Organ Brass and Perc.

A new work for choir, brass, organ, and percussion, Michael John Trotta’s Gloria delivers a tapestry of melodic richness. A strong sense of architecture guides the listener through the three contrasting movements, full of triumphant drama. Trotta’s work is a rare example of music that is both grounded in tradition while looking forward, all the while appealing to the modern listener.

Hear Samples and Get a Preview Score
Learn more and apply here

Like to take part in the next consortium?
Magnificat for Choir and Orchestra

Following the success and Carnegie Hall debut of Seven Last Words, plans are currently under way for my next major work, Magnificat for the ’19-20 season. Applications are now being accepted for choirs looking to take part in this new work. Seven organizations will be chosen as sponsors and will receive exclusive rights to premiere the work during the ’19-’20 season.

Learn more and apply here