John Barker, who lives south of Canton and is the pianist for Canton First United Methodist Church, will make his debut as guest conductor of the chorale at its "An English Christmastide" concert.
The performance is at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Canton First United Methodist Church at 930 Lower Scott Mill Road.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and are for sale at the door or in advance at the Cherokee Arts Center and Chamberhouse, both in downtown Canton, Three Sisters Gifts in Hickory Flat and Fox Tale Book Shoppe in downtown Woodstock.
The chorale will sing John Rutter's "Magnificat" and selected Christmas carols. The Etowah High School Advanced Chorus, conducted by Ann Dalton Burgess, will be special guest performers for the concert.
"It's a great group of folks. It's been good to get to know all of them first from the piano seat, too," Barker, 40, said about the chorale, which he has worked with in the past as an accompanist. "We were able to have a good rapport going into the season."
Though it is his first time conducting the chorale, Barker is not new to this kind of performance. He directed the featured children's chorus in the Broadway National tour of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."
His credits in the world of community, semi-professional and professional theater also include being the musical director for productions of "Little Shop of Horrors," "Chicago," "Strider," "Bye Bye Birdie," "Forty-Second Street," "South Pacific," "The Wizard of Oz," "Annie," "Something's Afoot," "Evita," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Hair," "Chess," "Into the Woods" and "And the World Goes Round."
Barker, who owns Delphi Global Technology in Alpharetta, has experience as a church and high school music educator as well.
Don Stafford of Canton, artistic director for the chorale, said Barker's inaugural effort as conductor of the chorale has been met with praise.
"I have gotten very good comments on his direction," Stafford said. "I have had really positive responses about his positiveness and experience."
Stafford said Barker would definitely be invited back as a guest conductor again.
"He is an outstanding musician. I just knew he would be a great guest conductor," he said.
Bea Flint of Canton, who has performed with the chorale since it began more than 20 years ago, said Barker is very popular among the performers.
"He is demanding and wants us to do the very best that we can," she said. "He gets the best out of everybody."