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Men’s and Women’s Chorales in concert March 27

Last updated March 20, 2018

By Tina Underwood

The Furman University Men’s and Women’s Chorales will present their spring concert Tuesday, March 27 at 8 p.m. in Daniel Memorial Chapel on the Furman University campus.

The concert is free and open to the public and is presented by the Furman Department of Music.

Conducted by Furman music faculty members Vivian Hamilton and Rusty Keesler, the concert includes American composers Leonard Bernstein, Daniel Elder, Craig Hella Johnson, and the music of Latin America.

A portion of the “St. Francis in the Americas: A Caribbean Mass” will be performed with piano and percussion. It celebrates Latin American culture, and the spiritual legacy of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Student soloists for the concert include sophomore tenor Tyrese Byrd of Williamston; junior Jordan Chase of Prosperity on horn; and percussionist Tyler King, a junior from Sumter.

Accompanying the choral groups on piano is junior Kristina Sanders of Greer.

For more information about the event, contact the Furman Music Department at 864-294-2086, or email the department at


About Vivian Hamilton
Vivian Hamilton is director of the Furman Chorale and a collaborative pianist in the music department. Hamilton has been a singer in the Robert Shaw Institute Festival Singers where she worked with Robert Shaw and studied conducting with Dan Lewis and Edvard Tchivzhel. She has worked with choirs at Simmons College, Emerson College, the University of South Carolina, Northeastern University and Clemson University. For 12 years, she conducted the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium Chorale, and is a former president of the South Carolina American Choral Directors Association. Her choral conducting experience also includes work at Baptist and Methodist churches in Massachusetts and South Carolina, and in the public schools of Boston and Upstate South Carolina. She is active in the community as the Minister of Music at First Baptist Greenville. She has served as a collaborative pianist in Boston, Massachusetts and throughout South Carolina. She was the Principal Keyboardist for the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, playing celeste, piano and harpsichord.

About J. Rusty Keesler
Rusty Keesler is the director of the Furman Men’s Chorale and teaches Choral Methods and Choral Literature. He comes to Furman after teaching nearly 40 years in the Upstate’s public schools where he was named Teacher of the Year for three schools and two districts. For 11 seasons he conducted Greenville’s Singing Christmas Tree with the Greenville County Youth Orchestra, including four seasons of Holiday Concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Choirs under his leadership have performed at Carnegie Hall, St. Bartholomew, St. Thomas, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, the Kennedy Center, the National Cathedral, the U.S. Naval Academy, a concert tour of Germany and Austria, and two PBS broadcasts. Keesler has prepared choirs to sing with such notable conductors as Robert Shaw, John Rutter, Lloyd Pfautsch and Daniel Pinkham. He is a graduate of Converse College with graduate studies at Winthrop University, Florida State University and the University of South Carolina.

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