"The World of Water, People, and Nature" will be featured in EdenSong’s Spring Concerts in Heber Springs, Sunday, May 7, 2 p.m, First Baptist Church, 201 N 4th St. and in Searcy, Friday, May 12, 7 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 304 N Main Street.

Director Analea Cook is pleased to announce that Tenor Ryan Russell and Bass-Baritone Mike Szabo will sing the great friendship duet from Bizet’s opera “The Pearl Fishers.”  Accompanying them will be Roberta Minner, who has served in that capacity at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.  Szabo minored in Voice at the University of Indiana’s Jacobs School of Music, which has a notable program in voice and opera.  He sang in summer musicals on tour and has been a choral singer and solo performer in many venues, including EdenSong performances.  Russell has also sung solos for EdenSong as well as serving as Organist/Pianist.  Russell studied music at Southern Arkansas University, in Magnolia, Arkansas, and while there was Artist in Residence at Central Baptist Church. Currently, he is Choral Director and Organist at First Methodist in Searcy.

EdenSong Baritone and Dramaturge, Jeff Craddock,  will provide an introduction to the Rivers component of the Water Theme, which will then feature EdenSong and and two solo performances.  Szabo will sing “Ole Man River,” and Soprano Renee Henry, will sing the solo in “Deep River,” accompanied by EdenSong.  Originally from Dallas, Texas, Henry, who has joined EdenSong this Spring, received a B.A. in Music from Ouachita Baptist University, where she majored in Voice and Minored in Communication Disorders.  At Ouachita, she was a member of the eight-member PraySingers, a group which toured the State of Arkansas.  More recently she taught Music and Art at an Urban Christian School in Jackson, Mississippi, where she also helped as a Worship Leader in a Presbyterian Church. In an earlier day, she was the Worship Leader in the Fellowship Church in Helena, Arkansas.  She is also a Voice Teacher, including her four children among her students, whom she describes as receiving “Mommy and me” Lessons.

In addition to the “River” works featuring solo performers,  EdenSong will sing “Song of the River,” “Shenandoah,” "Gather at the River,," and "Down to the River to Pray" (from “O Brother, Where Art Thou?).  And, yes, the audience will be invited to join in singing the rousing finale,  “Down By The Riverside."

The concert will open with EdenSong singing Pachelbel’s well-known "Canon in D", to be followed by Mozart's “Ave Verum” and Rutter’s “I Believe in Springtime.”  Ryan Russell will provide an organ Interlude which he has composed for the occasion.

There will be no admission charge for the concerts, but contributions to the EdenSong Music Fund will be gratefully accepted.