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New guild director brings hope for growth
by Sarah Anne Voyles
svoyles@neighbornewspapers.com
August 14, 2013 12:24 PM | 2148 views | 2 2 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye / 
New music director Donald A. Milton III relies on his various musical talents at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta to lead the DeKalb Choral Guild.
Staff / Katherine Frye / New music director Donald A. Milton III relies on his various musical talents at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta to lead the DeKalb Choral Guild.
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Donald A. Milton III never participated in music as a child, but joined choir in high school because he wanted to go on trips.

After attending the University of Michigan and conducting different choirs in Michigan, Milton decided he wanted to be a music director of a church. He is the music director for the Universal Unitarians Congregation of Atlanta and was recently named the new music director for the DeKalb Choral Guild.

“I was looking for a conducting job in a church and I agreed with the Unitarians the most,” Milton said. “So I looked on their website and found this congregation and applied.” He learned of the guild through several church choir members who also sing in the group. Last season, the guild parted ways with its former director after the first concert.

Milton was asked to help conduct its January concert with another conductor.

“It is a very interesting experience when you are conducting a choir that is not really yours,” Milton said. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with them full-time and help the choir grow back to previous numbers and hopefully more.”

In recent years the guild has dwindled in numbers due to a lack of enthusiasm within the group. Milton said he believes it is the conductor’s job to keep the excitement and love for music so that each singer enjoys participating.

Milton is also working with the guild’s board of directors to increase the audience base. He said in recent years the audience has become more than just family and friends of the performers.

“We want to expand our audience,” Milton said. “Our hope and desire is to begin to have members of the community come. We have reduced our ticket prices and are in the process of creating a more user friendly website.”
Comments
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Matthew S. Schwartz
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August 14, 2013
I don't know Donald A. Milton III, but I know people like him. They are unusual and incredible people. Do you know what these people have that no one else has? Spirit. Spirit and a distant memory of abs. And sometimes they can juggle. But mostly, spirit. That's the most important thing. Juggling is fun, but you can't build a choir by juggling. Abs are nice to get girls, but you can't get choristers with abs. Spirit, though, that's something. You can do anything with spirit. And I'm sure this Donald A. Milton III has spirit in droves!
Will R.
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August 22, 2013
You can totally get choristers with abs.
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