World Premiere Performance to Highlight Unity Concert

Jan 19, 2017

When you think of world premiere musical performances, Tallahassee probably isn’t the first place you think of. But the Capital City will indeed be the first place on the planet to hear the newest composition by one of its most famous musical talents a week from this Saturday.

Tallahassee Community Chorus Artistic Director Dr. Andre Thomas

Tallahassee Community Chorus President Jan Smith said the debut of his new composition will take place during “Unity Twelve”, the Chorus’s concert on Saturday, January 28th in FSU’s Ruby Diamond Concert Hall.

“The Unity Concerts are typically different,” she explained. “They’re a community-kind of concert (where) we celebrate the diversity of our community in various ways by recognizing our armed services, celebrating our children…we’ve celebrated just about everybody, the different genres of music by bringing in guest soloists…”

This time around, Smith says the theme is “Praise and Redemption: the Power of Song.” And here’s where the previously mentioned monster musical talent comes in, because the Chorus’s Artistic Director Dr. Andre Thomas has been a very creative guy lately.

“I’m in the process of writing a mass,” he said with obvious enthusiasm. ”The ‘Gloria’ premiered at the Tabernacle at the National ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) Convention in 2015. And then the ‘Credo’ premiered in Carnegie Hall, and so the ‘Sanctus’ is premiering this month with the Tallahassee Community Chorus.”

Dr. Thomas predicted the complete composition will be ready in a few years.

“Hopefully in 2019 we’ll do the entire mass for orchestra. But our premiere this time will be bass, piano and drums.”

Smith said that ensemble will accompany the Tallahassee Community Chorus under Dr. Thomas’ baton.

“It’s amazing to us! We are constantly in wonder and have learned a whole lot from him over this time and we’re going to miss him when he’s not with us anymore. But we are going to honor him the best way we can by singing his work to the best of our ability.”

Dr. Thomas said this concert will also include “Selections from the Sacred Concerts” performed by the FSU Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Leon Anderson.

“It’s Duke Ellington finally writing what he thought was his definitive work, which were these ‘Sacred Concerts’ and it’s all in the jazz idiom in the big band.”

And Thomas said there’s one more component to this particular concert.

“And the redemption part of it has to do with the partnership we have with the Gadsden County Women’s Prison. And so you’re going to see a videotape of their choir, which is the FSU Glee Club and their director who works with the women at the prison.”

This is all happening, Smith said, the evening of Saturday, January 28th starting at seven-thirty at Ruby Diamond Concert Hall.

“Get tickets on our web site:, or if you aren’t an online person, you can call us at: 850-597-0603 and order your tickets by phone.”

In keeping with the theme: “Praise and Redemption”, the concert is being presented in partnership with Good News Outreach.