Stanly County Chorale will celebrate 55 years

On Dec. 8, 1968, the Stanly County Chorale made its debut presenting the Christmas portion of Handel’s “Messiah” under the direction of William McGibney and accompanied by Mary Hearne.

This year, the Chorale celebrates this milestone 55th anniversary by again presenting “Messiah” with strings and organ accompaniment.

The Chorale is currently under the direction of Lisa Ewers and accompanied by Zoey Brouthers. They are the most recent in a long line of artistic leadership. Previous directors include Robert Kennedy, Marvin Burke, Cindy Misenheimer, Martha Chapman, Karl Wienand, Carmella Hedrick, Steve Harrill, Cindy Pribble, Michelle Williams-Gonzales, Joseph Judge, Angela Moore, Caroline Stephenson, Hunter Safrit and Aza Hudson.

Previous accompanists include Stanley Scheer, Becky Phillips, Cindy Misenheimer, Karl Wienand, Bill Gouge, Marilyn Wienand, Christina Uden, Lee Northcutt, Ellen Brewer, David Furr, Sue Lambert, Charles Litaker, Steven Mowery, Flora Lester and Aza Hudson.

The Chorale has invited the Anson Singers to join it for “Messiah.” The Anson Singers are under the direction of Emily Privette and accompanied by Gail Litaker, daughter and wife of the late Charles Litaker, respectively.

“This is a special partnership for us in several ways,” Ewers said. “Emily’s parents, Gail and Charles, have been friends of mine for many years and we all share the Pfeiffer music program experience, as well as the Chorale connection. It just makes sense that these two ensembles should partner for this very special occasion.”

Lee Northcutt will return to the Chorale organ bench for this performance.

“Lee is another special Pfeiffer and Chorale friend, having attended Pfeiffer with me as a music major and being a past accompanist of the Chorale. Music initially brought all of us together over the years, and I’m thrilled that it is reuniting us now,” Ewers said.

The Chorale invites anyone who has ever sung with, directed or accompanied the group in the past to join together for this special anniversary performance. Newcomers are invited to participate as well.

Individuals do not have to be a Stanly County resident to join.
Rehearsals begin at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 5 in the choir room of First Presbyterian Church of Albemarle.

Performances are scheduled for Dec. 2 in Albemarle and Dec. 3 in Wadesboro.

Those planning to sing are asked to pre-register. For more info and to register to sing “Messiah” follow the Chorale’s Facebook page ( and website (

The 55th anniversary celebration will continue through the spring concert season with a special recognition of all past directors and accompanists.