Ashland University’s fall choral concert presents a program of music in the spiritual tradition including mostly, but not exclusively, Christian texts by composers from several centuries in various musical styles. The concert will feature three University vocal ensembles including the Ashland University Choir, Ashland Area Chorus and Ashland University Women’s Chorus on Sunday, October 14, 4:00 p.m. at the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel. The performance is free and open to the public.
Conducted by Dr. Rowland Blackley, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, and accompanied by University organist Dr. Timothy Guenther, the Ashland Area Chorus will present two major oratorio choruses by George Frideric Handel including “Awake the Trumpet’s Lofty Sound” from Samson, and “Sing Unto God” from Judas Maccabeaus, along with John Rutter's “Open Thou Mine Eyes.”
Dr. Blackley will also conduct the Ashland University Choir performing Jacques Arcadelt's "Ave Maria" from the Italian Renaissance period, two settings of the famous poem “I Am the Rose of Sharon” from the Biblical Song of Songs by the early American composer William Billings and contemporary Swiss composer Ivo Antognini, and "The Eyes of All" by twentieth century American composer Jean Berger. The University Choir will also sing "True Light," a gospel-style piece by Keith Hampton, with piano accompaniment by Bret Cowden, senior vocal performance major from Paris, Ohio; and "My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord” by Moses Hogan, the greatest composer and arranger of African-American spirituals in the latter part of the twentieth century.
The Ashland University Women's Chorus, directed by Dr. Marla Butke, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education, will perform two Native American pieces and sacred music by Antonio Caldera, Eleanor Daley, and John Rutter with Holly Allan as accompanist. The Native American songs arranged by Barbara Sletto will feature Alex VanScoy on recorder for "Ancient Mother," and Stephen Morsher on percussion for "The Earth Is Our Mother." The sacred pieces will include Nancy Grundahl's arrangement of Caldera's "Laudamus Te," Daley's "The Cloths of Heaven," Rutter's "A Clare Benediction," and Valerie Shields arrangement of E. Amiran's "Mayim, Mayim" with Don Haught on flute.