GSO Chorus

Georgia Symphony Orchestra Chorus

Encompassing a wide range of vocal versatility, the Georgia Symphony Orchestra Chorus performs choral/orchestral works, pops, and produces independent choral concerts. Highlights from recent seasons include choral masterworks with the Georgia Symphony, being featured on a GSO Jazz! performance at the Strand Theatre, singing in a sold-out concert of music from the video game “Zelda,” and presenting a historic regional premiere of American music.

Comprised of accomplished vocalists from the greater metropolitan area, performances have included Mahler’s Second Symphony, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Haydn’s Creation, and Verdi’s Te Deum. The ensemble has also presented state, regional, and world premieres.

Founded in 2007, and directed by Bryan Black, the chorus recently performed with the Morehouse College Glee Club, the Spelman College Glee Club, the Uzee Brown Society of Choraliers, and the Georgia Spiritual Ensemble.

Shana Adams
Wisdom Anderson
Sarah Arrington
Lanie Baxter
Cathryne Belangee
Julia Bellezza
Heather Blalock
Cindy Bohn
Linda Bonstein
Crae Borsom
Atheleen Burley
Molly Chow
Beth Collier
Amber Connor
Leah Crumley
Camille Fairbanks
Elaine Federico
Michaelyn Findley
Tiara Gomer-DeGomez
Karen Gonzalez
Rachael Gorbutt
Nancy Hodges
Marianne Holdzkom
Marian Hull
Judy Jones
Kathleen Laurendeau
Stephanie Loomis
Tera Marsh
Katie Mattice
Margaret Menz
Mary Nimsgern
Virginia Osborne
Karen Partyka
Bliss Peterson
Bwashena Qadhafi
Brenda Rhodes
Julia Roberts
Luci Roberts
Patty Smitherman
Pat Snider
Tammy Teal
Leslie D. Thompson
Shari Twine
Elmine Van Den Berg
Maria Velasquez
Ann Vines
Carole Whitlow
Amanda Williams

Janet Adams
Morgan Baker
Laura Blakeslee
Sara Branch
Glendol Browder
Heather Buehner
Ramona Burkett
Karen Chin
Kecia Coar-Overall
Andrea Davis
Tiffany Fannin
Kelly Francis
Cate Godley
Lisa Greenwood
Judy Harvey
Rebecca Higgins
Debbie Holyfield
Peggy Hurst
Mary Hyde
Beth Johnson
Jenn Kunz
Cindy Landis
Erin Layton
Kelli LaVelle
Berna Levine
Beverly Martin
Debra McCracken
Sharon Menear
Suzanne Milligan
Allison Nance
Linda Nordahl
Jacquelyn OBryan
Dana Pinnow
Sharona Sandberg
Riny Schartman
Laura Searcy
Marian Sebel
Christine Shoemaker
Joan Shorr
Rebecca Thach
Susan Traendly
Laurie Washington
Meredith Weber
Rose Whittingham
Mary Williams
Martha Willis

Timothy Adetunji
James Clarence Banks
Stephen Bennett
Logan Burley
Sean Condon
William Dyer
Tom Federico
Johnny Gravley
Chris Greenwood
Stephen Hall
Dean Hawkinson
Kevin Jennings
Scott Lamphere
John Love
Jimmie Nettles
Aderayo Oyegbade
Val Pyram
Robert Shull
Joshua Teal

David Abee
Robert Argent
Bob Bonstein
Kenneth Colson
Alan Davitte
Dave Erstfeld
Garret Federico
Joe Ferst
Ben Glosson
Frank Harris
Ken Johnson
Wates Keller
Brian Loomis
Dave Lozada
Robert Mayfield
John Morgan
Oral Moses
Michael Nolan
Michael Reeves
Alberto Sapoznik
Al Searcy
Vinny Varsalona
Wally Ziprik

“My youngest asked me one day why I sing with the GSO chorus. I told him it’s because it challenges me. Music challenges my brain to decode and interpret thousands of dots and squiggles and directions. Music challenges my body to stand straighter, breathe deeper and articulate clearer.

Music challenges my world view when I sing in another language or songs from another culture or even another time. Most importantly, music challenges my spirit. It challenges my soul to hope and dream that in spite of the crummy day I might have had or the hate some people spew or the storms that level whole cities, the human spirit is powerful. 

Music expresses that powerful spirit in a way words alone cannot. I’m grateful for the GSO chorus. I hope we will always “sing and never tire!” and “may our singing be music for others.

And may it keep others aloft.”
Heather Blalock Heather Blalock
Soprano, GSOC

Bryan Black

JG Morgan GSO Chorus Director

Bryan Black is the founding conductor of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra Chorus which he established in 2007. Over sixteen seasons the ninety-voice Chorus has performed masterworks such as Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Poulenc’s Gloria, Bach’s Magnificat, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Vaughan-William’s Sea Symphony, and the Georgia premier of William Grant Still’s And They Lynched Him On A Tree. Other concerts have featured notable choral repertoire including Corigliano’s Fern Hill, Handel’s Let God Arise, and Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass. The chorus made its first international tour to Spain in 2012 under his direction and anticipates a tour of the United Kingdom in 2025.

Black has been active in the broader music community for three decades and was recognized as a “Lexus Leader in the Arts” by Atlanta Public Broadcasting in 2003. After a collaborative performance of Hugo Distler’s Totentanz in 2004, Bryan was awarded a cultural ambassadorship from the Atlanta Goethe-Institut and attended an advanced language symposium in Weimar, Germany.  He sang for several years with the ASO Chorus and Chamber Chorus, including Robert Shaw’s final performance of Bach’s B-minor Mass in Carnegie Hall. He also taught on the adjunct faculty of Georgia State University and was visiting conductor for the Candler School of Theology Choraliers at Emory University. Choirs led by Black have performed at the Vatican, Christ Church Cathedral (Oxford), the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, and on tours to Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Norway.

Bryan is past-president of Georgia ACDA (American Choral Director’s Association) and served six terms at the divisional and national levels as Resource and Repertoire coordinator for reading sessions and conference performances. While serving ACDA, he assisted John Rutter as organizer for a conductor’s honor chorus in 2013 and planned the national 2019 “Music in Worship” event featuring Jason Max Ferdinand and the Aeolians. He has contributed articles to the Choral Journal, the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology, and Tim Sharp’s Sacred Choral Music Repertoire (pub. GIA) reflecting his work as a practicing church musician since the age of seventeen. Black currently serves as organist / choirmaster at St. James Episcopal Church on the historic square in Marietta, Georgia. 

Bryan holds a certificate in German as a foreign language (Goethe-Institut Berlin), a BM degree in organ (Samford University), and an MM degree in choral conducting from The Florida State University where he studied with Rodney Eichenberger and André Thomas. His doctoral thesis (DPM, Southern Methodist University) considered the impact of choral music in a maximum-security women’s prison and how the inmates’ lived experience of musicking models resilient community in an age of technological acceleration and relational isolation. 

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