Sunday, March 10, 2019

Cabin Fever Choral Concert, Mar. 17

The Ashland University Choir, Chamber Singers and Women's Chorus present a concert to relieve our cabin fever on Sunday, Mar. 17 at 4 p.m. in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel. The eclectic program will offer everything from Elizabethan madrigals, to a Mass from Haydn, spirituals, contemporary a cappella, folk songs and lullabies. The concert is free and open to the public.

Dr. Rowland Blackley, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, will conduct the University Choir in a performance of Franz Joseph Haydn's "Little Organ Mass" for choir, small string orchestra and organ. On the Mass' lovely and extended “Benedictus,” it will feature soprano Rebecca Young, junior music major from Oregon, and university organist Dr. Timothy Guenther. Brian Le, senior political science major, will intone the beginning of the Gloria accompanied by Dr. Guenther.

The AU Choir will also sing two very recent choral compositions including “Selene’s Boat” by Don McDonald, based on a poem by Allison Girvan about the Greek goddess of the moon. Much of the piece is textless as it strives to create a certain mood. The final piece, “Rock-a My Soul,” arranged by the contemporary musician Stacey V. Gibbs, starts with the familiar spiritual and takes it to some exciting places through mixed modes, syncopated rhythms, and dramatic textures.

The Chamber Singers, also conducted by Dr. Blackley, will perform Morten Lauridsen’s “Four Madrigals on Renaissance Texts.” This set is accompanied by an instrumental quartet of flute, violin, cello, and bassoon. The juxtaposition of Elizabethan texts with twentieth century music is striking, at times poignant, and consistently effective.

Directed by Ashland University alumna Julie Strebler-Renner and accompanied by Susan Gregg, the Women's chorus' selections begin with "One Voice" by the Wailin’ Jennys, followed by Z. Randall Stroope’s “Lux Aeterna," a French piece titled “Je Le Vous Dirai,“ and conclude with Jacob Narverud’s “Lunar Lullaby.”

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