The Ashland University Choir, Chamber Singers and the Women's Chorus present their fall choral concert on Sunday, October 30 at 4 p.m. in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel. The performance is free and open to the public.
With a program featuring selections from the Baroque period to contemporary pieces by living composers, the concert will bridge the old with the new by celebrating Dr. Rowland Blackley's 20-year tenure as Ashland University's Director of Choral Activities and Kimberly Wolbert's inaugural concert directing the Women's Chorus.
The University Choir's program will begin with Johann Sebastian Bach's Classical period piece Motet No.3, "Jesu, meine Freude," the longest of the composer's motets. The choir is learning it in preparation for its concert tour to Germany in March, which will include a performance at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, where Bach worked for the longest part of his career. The University Choir will also premiere a brand-new work by Cincinnati, Ohio composer Howard Helvey, "Sweet Day," which is based on a popular text by George Herbert. The piece was commissioned by a consortium of universities in Ohio including Ashland University. The Chamber Singers will perform a setting of the same text by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.
The Women's Chorus will also visit the past and present with their program including "Da Pacem Domine" by Melchior Franck, a German composer of the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras; and continuing to "Bonney Wood Green," the traditional Irish ballad from World War I arranged by Canadian composer Stephen Hatfield. Representing American composers, the program also features the contemporary works "Fire" by Mary Goetze which was inspired by a poem written by Patricia Taylor, a thirteen-year-old girl; and "The Seal Lullaby" by Eric Whitacre which is a dreamlike work capturing the undulating rhythm of a mother rocking her child to sleep.