Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

November 23, 2013

Avon woman will sing in 'Festival of Carols' concerts

By Wade Coggeshall wade.coggeshall@flyergroup.com
Hendricks County Flyer

---- — Gwen Swart has been singing for a long time.

She performed with a symphonic chorus while living in southwestern Michigan. Before that, it was various church choirs and other groups.

“I’ve just always loved to sing since I was a kid,” Swart said.

But it’s her current gig that has been the biggest stage yet.

Swart, a native of Speedway who now calls Avon home, has been a member of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir the past eight years. You have to audition to get in, then try out annually in order to keep your spot.

“This is the largest and most prestigious choir I’ve ever sung in,” Swart said. “It’s a wonderful experience for a person that enjoys singing. It’s an honor to be in it.”

Their performance schedule, which usually starts in the spring, varies from year to year. The choir will occasionally perform with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, as well as myriad ensembles and on their own.

The Christmas show is always one of their biggest productions. This year performances are 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in downtown Indianapolis and 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 22 in the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

The concert, titled “Festival of Carols,” obviously features the 150-voice Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, but also includes the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Circle City Ringers handbell choir, and Butler University’s men’s a cappella group.

The holiday showcase is always one of Swart’s favorites to perform in.

“It incorporates a lot of familiar stuff,” she said. “I like doing new things, but the Christmas music is wonderful and family friendly. It’s a lighter concert as far as what’s performed. More people can relate to at least some parts of it.”

Tickets for both venues cost $20 to $38 and may be ordered online at IndyChoir.org.