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Taylor Festival Choir Presents Music and Mindfulness: A Concert of Joy and Serenity

Holy City Sinner

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The Taylor Festival Choir (TFC), in partnership with Circular Congregational Church and the Sophia Institute, will present a choral concert entitled ”Music and Mindfulness: A Concert of Joy and Serenity” at 3 pm on Sunday, October 21st at Circular Congregational Church, (150 Meeting Street). The concert will be followed by a wine tasting and a silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the Taylor Music Group. 

TFC’s repertoire will feature Samuel Barber’s choral arrangement of his famed Adagio for Strings (the Agnus Dei), as well as selections by James MacMillan, Brian Galante, Jake Runestad, Thomas Lavoy, Moses Hogan and others expressing the concept of Mindfulness. Well-known poet and Mindfulness counselor Henk Brandt and Circular Congregational pastor Dr. Jeremy Rutledge will provide inspiring narratives.

“The concept of Mindfulness is one that has become central in the lives of the Taylor family over the past few years,” says TFC Founding Conductor Robert Taylor. “Staying fully present with unconditional love for others and yourself is a common theme in all of the world’s great religions and philosophies. We are so excited to present a concert built upon this theme, and we are doubly excited about partnering with two wonderful institutions that embody Mindfulness day in and day out in the Lowcountry: the Sophia Institute and Circular Congregational Church. This will be a wonderful event for all ages.”

“Because we are affected by music neurologically, the field of Music Therapy has evolved as a protocol for reducing anxiety without resorting to medication. Over 400 white papers have described how music increases levels of immunity, pleasure, socialization, and a felt sense of wellbeing. Thus, it should come as no surprise that listening to music often elicits the relaxed state of unconditional presence we call mindfulness. Music can be seen as ‘multidimensional’ because it has the capacity to displace the incessant chatter coming from the brain’s language center, bypassing ordinary cognition, in favor of the more sublime states of metacognition, inspiration, and advanced levels of visualization, similarly attained through prolonged mindfulness training,” says Henk Brendt of The Sophia Institute.

Tickets for the concert are $25 general seating and $35 preferred seating and can be purchased at www.tmgcharleston.com. Wine tasting tickets will be available for purchase at the event box office; admission to the silent auction is free to all concert ticketholders.

The Taylor Festival Choir is a professional chamber choir based in Charleston, SC. Founded and conducted by Robert Taylor, the choir is inspired by the life and career of Bob Taylor, the conductor’s late father and a noted choral musician and pedagogue. Since its inception in 2001, the Taylor Festival Choir has toured and been heard in prestigious venues and festivals throughout the U.S., and has garnered a reputation of excellence among critics and choral specialists alike. TFC was one of only two American adult chamber choirs featured at the prestigious 2009 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Convention and 50th anniversary celebration, and they were again featured in the ACDA Southern Division Conference in February 2017, where they were selected to perform the prestigious Raymond W. Brock commissioned composition.

The Taylor Festival Choir has recorded on the Delos, Centaur, and MSR Classics labels. Their recent recording of BBC composer of the year James MacMillan’s Mass and Celtic Mass by Michael McGlynn received rave reviews throughout Europe. Their recording Sing We Now of Christmas, recorded with legendary guest artists including Liz Carroll, John Doyle and Kim Robertson, has been called “a choral feast that will linger long in your memory after you’ve heard it” (Audio Society of Atlanta).  TFC serves as the professional choir-in-residence at the College of Charleston. It presents a full concert season in the Charleston area, and serves as the flagship ensemble for the Piccolo Spoleto Celtic Arts Series.

Personnel in the ensemble include conductors, educators, performers and professionals from throughout the United States. The Taylor Festival Choir performs the finest choral literature from all eras, with particular emphasis on new music and folk music from the Celtic nations. Dedicated to bringing the beauty and spiritual enrichment of choral music to as wide an audience as possible, the Taylor Festival Choir tours frequently, and performs outreach concerts in schools and churches throughout South Carolina and surrounding states. TFC toured Ireland with sister ensemble Na Fidleiri in 2013. A double DVD documentary chronicling that tour was recently released.

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