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>> ANNUAL CANDLELIGHT CONCERT MIXES CAROLS AND A SALUTE TO BROADWAY page 2
Spotsylvanians celebrate 10 years of entertaining the community

 Alexander Smith directs the group during a show at the Concert in Lights at the Village at Towne Centre.
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Date published: 11/22/2012

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"We needed him and he needed us," she said. "He just wanted to end his life with music. And he did it so beautifully. He knew he wasn't going to make it, but he made everything good and warm for us.

"And he brought in this fabulous person, Alexander Smith!"

Under Smith's direction, the quality of The Spotsylvanians' singing is much better than it was originally, charter member Keith Brown said.

"Alex is a much more serious, dedicated conductor," he said. "The last year or two and particularly last spring were particularly outstanding. The concerts brought tears to my eyes."

Smith said he has tried to bring a young, fresh and very contemporary approach to the group.

"I'm trying to take them in a new direction, to keep up with what other choirs outside of the area are doing," he said. "And they've been right on board!"

Smith said his goal is for The Spotsylvanians to be the premier vocal group in the area.

"I want people to hear the name and think, 'What a fantastic choir,'" he said. "And I think we're heading that way. As they've gotten used to my direction, the concerts have been over-the-top, incredibly performed."

This year's eclectic Christmas concert includes --in addition to traditional carols--an a cappella processional, a Christmas salute to Broadway, some gospel tunes and a West Indian spiritual that Smith says is rarely performed.

"I think that if people come to our Christmas concert, they'll be blown away," Smith said.

Adele Uphaus-Conner is a Fredericksburg-area writer.


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What: The Spotsylvanians 10th Anniversary Christmas Candlelight Concert When: Saturday, Dec. 8, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 9, at 3 p.m.

Where: Spotsylvania Middle School, 8801 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania

Cost: Admission is free. Info: 540/582-8541; spotsylvanians.com