Music Director and Orchestra Conductor, Dr. James Ball
Chorus Conductor Hannah Sparrow
Concertmaster Jessica Lynne Cory
Pianist Carolyn Dicks
The beloved Tecumseh Pops Orchestra & Community Chorus are gearing up for their holiday concert at Tecumseh Center for the Arts (TCA) this coming Sunday, December 6, beginning at 4 pm. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at www.TheTCA.org, by phone at 517.423.6617, or in person at 400 N. Maumee St. Tecumseh, MI. Tickets are $10 (adults) and $8 (seniors and youth).
The Tecumseh Pops Orchestra &Community Chorus is a non-profit volunteer organization that brings affordable quality classical and popular music to the Tecumseh community and surrounding area. Members come from Lenawee County and cities such as Adrian, Blissfield, Ypsilanti, Manchester, Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Manitou Beach, Willis, Milan, Clinton, and Jackson. This is a showcase for talented local musicians and singers (youth and adult) who perform for personal satisfaction and growth. The group also provides enjoyment and cultural enrichment to members of our community by presenting concerts to suit a variety of tastes.
The Tecumseh Pops Orchestra was formed in 1981 as a non-profit organization designed to foster, promote and increase citizens' knowledge and appreciation of music. The Tecumseh Community Chorus was established shortly thereafter, providing additional opportunities to diversify their musical repertoire. The members of the Orchestra and Chorus come from all walks of life, including business people, teachers, retirees, and students. Musical backgrounds vary from performing professionally to singing in the shower.
Music Director and Orchestra Conductor, Dr. James Ball is in his sixteenth year as conductor of the Tecumseh Pops Orchestra. He is Director of Orchestral activities, Professor of Conducting, and Director of the Jazz Ensemble at Albion College. Dr. Ball served for five years as Music Director and Conductor of the Danville (IL) Symphony Orchestra and has conducted throughout the U.S. as well as in the Czech Republic with the Bohuslav Martinu Symphony Orchestra, in Bulgaria with the Vidin State Philharmonic Orchestra, in Mexico with the Oaxaca Symphony Orchestra and has competed in international competitions in Tokyo, Japan and Pescara, Italy. He is the founding Music Director of the Sandy Springs (GA) Chamber Orchestra and the founding Conductor of the “New Ear,” a professional contemporary music chamber ensemble in Kansas City. He has served as Music Director and Conductor of the Lawrence (KS) Symphony Orchestra and the Kansas City String Orchestra, and has held posts with the Missouri Symphony Society, the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, the Atlanta Chamber Orchestra at the University of West Florida and the National Youth Orchestra of Costa Rica. As a professional trombonist, violist, bassist and guitarist, Dr. Ball has performed a wide variety of music with professional orchestras, big bands and various types of combos playing Jazz, rock and roll, bluegrass, Greek dance music and for five years he directed and played bass for the highly acclaimed 12-piece salsa band “Flamante” out of Kansas City. Tecumseh Pops Community Chorus is pleased to welcome Hannah Sparrow as their new Chorus Conductor. Hannah Sparrow is also in her first year of teaching at the Tecumseh Middle School. In addition to being the head of choral activities at the middle school, Hannah directs four gender-based ensembles, a mixed sixth grade ensemble, an introductory fifth grade choir, as well as assisting choirs at Tecumseh High School.
A 2015 graduate of the University of Michigan, Hannah graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Choral Music Education. While at Michigan, Hannah sang in various vocal ensembles led by Dr. Jerry Blackstone, Dr. Julie Skadsem, and Dr. Eugene Rogers. In 2014, she travelled to Australia and New Zealand with the UM Chamber Choir. She also participated in collegiate a cappella, competing in three regional tournaments with The Dicks and Janes.
When Hannah is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking new recipes, and discovering new music. TPO/CC are also proud supporters of the THS Advanced High School vocal, instrumental and string students. TPO/CC provides another venue for local youth to expand their talents!
Concertmaster, Jessica Lynne Cory was born and raised in Tecumseh, Michigan. Ms. Cory began playing violin in the 4th grade with the Tecumseh Public Schools Orchestra. She graduated from Tecumseh Public Schools as concertmaster of the Tecumseh High School Chamber Orchestra. She was also a part of the Tecumseh Fiddlers, The Siena Heights Youth Symphony Orchestra, and The Tecumseh Pops Orchestra during this time. Ms. Cory won numerous awards at District Solo and Ensemble and State Solo and Ensemble and participated in events such as The Michigan Youth Arts Festival, The Lenawee Fine Arts Day Festival, and Alternative Styles Days.
Ms. Cory is currently an undergraduate student at Eastern Michigan University studying Engineering Physics with a music minor and a math minor. Ms. Cory is a part of the Eastern Michigan University Symphony Orchestra and occasionally performs with the Village Strings, a traditional folk music group. She is also a very active member and supporter of His House Christian Fellowship. When she isn’t trying to finish her school work or she isn’t performing, she enjoys reading, spending time with her cat, riding antique bicycles, and solving logic puzzles.
Ms. Cory would like to thank all of her family and friends that have encouraged and supported her throughout her career. For the love of a family and the touch of music are life’s greatest blessings.
Accompanist Carolyn Dicks once attended a one-room country school before graduating from Clinton high school. She spent summers at National Music Camp at Interlochen and earned Bachelors and Masters degrees in music from University of Michigan.
She is a self-taught pianist who has accompanied ensembles from all over the United States and Europe. Carolyn is a staff accompanist at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. She has been and organist in the church choir for 42 years and is also associate director of the Ann Arbor Grail Singers. Carolyn enjoys playing a Civil War era baritone in the Dodworth Saxhorn Band. Additionally, she cares for many animals and raises thoroughbred horses on her 122 acre farm.
You can learn more about the Tecumseh Pops Orchestra & Community Chorus by visiting their website at www.tecumsehpops.com.