BY LEANN DILBECK –
The Acorn Middle and High School Choirs recently had the opportunity to sing in Eureka Springs at the Thorncrown Chapel and during the 50th Anniversary of the Christ of the Ozarks Celebration as well as preceding the last performance of 2016 of The Great Passion Play.
This was the second time they choir had been invited. The first year, they were unable to perform due to torrential rains.
The Choir is under the direction of Ms. Valerie Couch who said students were given the option of going and 50 students elected to participate.
Students first performed at the Thorncrown Chapel that rises forty-eight feet into the Ozark sky and provides amazing acoustics within. The magnificent wooden structure contains 425 windows and over 6,000 square feet of glass. It sits atop over 100 tons of native stone and colored flagstone.
Since the chapel opened in 1980, over six million people have visited this woodland sanctuary. Designed by renowned architect E. Fay Jones, Thorncrown has won numerous architectural awards such as the American Institute of Architects’ Design of the Year Award for 1981 and AIA’s prestigious 25 Year Award. Recently, members of the American Institute of Architects placed Thorncrown Chapel fourth on its list of the top buildings of the twentieth century.
Later in the early evening, the choir performed during rededication ceremonies and 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Christ of the Ozarks. The largest statue of Jesus Christ in the United States, the monument had received an extensive restoration made possible through many generous donations. Singing on the steps of the temple preceding the final 2016 performance of The Great Passion Play concluded a very full day for the students.
Couch was very proud of and for her students to have the opportunity, “We were asked by Kent Butler of The Great Passion Play to sing for the 50th Celebration of the Christ of the Ozarks and for the opening of the last Passion Play performance of the season. We were really excited and honored to be a part of this historic day for the Play. A trip of this nature is so educational and unifies my choir. We made so many wonderful memories and are thankful for the opportunity!”