Allegheny Choirs to Present Spring Concert on April 10

MEADVILLE, Pa. – April 1, 2010 – The Allegheny College Choirs will present their annual spring concert on Saturday, April 10, at 4 p.m. in Shafer Auditorium on the Allegheny campus.  The concert, which is free and open to the public, will feature four choirs and 140 singers performing a variety of sacred and secular music. Guest artists for the program are soprano Vicki Jamison and pianist Wendy Plyler.

The College Chorus will begin the program with “Hanacpachap,” a processional meant to be sung through the streets as a choir approached the church.  The text is in the aboriginal Quechuan language, and the music is from 17th-century Peru.  The chorus will next sing “The Call” by Kenneth Jennings, former conductor of the St. Olaf Choir, and then conclude with “I Will Arise,” an American folk hymn arranged by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw.

The 15-voice Chamber Choir will begin by singing two madrigals without a conductor.  “Gasajemonos de Husia,” a joyous work by Spanish composer Juan del Encina, stands in stark contrast to the Italian lament “Dolcissimo ben mio” by Orazio Vecchi. The Chamber Choir will then sing “In stiller Nacht,” a haunting tone poem by Johannes Brahms depicting the sorrow of someone who has been deserted. The choir’s final piece will be a modern setting of an earlier English madrigal text, “My Bonnie Lass She Smileth,” by English composer Edward German.

The Women’s Ensemble will be joined by Plyler for “Nigra sum,” a love song from the Song of Solomon by Spanish cellist and composer Pablo Casals. The ensemble will then present two pieces by composer Zae Munn that depict very different predicaments. “The Stove” chronicles the challenge of dealing with a malfunctioning appliance, while “The Willow Plate” retells the ancient legend of persecuted young lovers that has been pictured on dinner plates around the world. The ensemble will conclude with a modern madrigal in praise of summer by Ernst Krenek.

Plyler also will join the College Choir for its first two pieces: “Sing to God with Gladness” by Belgian composer Flor Peeters and “Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit” from “A German Requiem” by Johannes Brahms. The soprano soloist for the Brahms piece is Vicki Jamison. The next work will be Donald Gawthrop’s “Sing Me to Heaven,” a meditative piece that has become extremely popular with choral musicians. The choir will finish with the rousing spiritual “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord” by Moses Hogan.

To conclude the program, all of the choirs will combine for two pieces. The first is the traditional favorite “Danny Boy,” as arranged by Joseph Flummerfelt, former conductor of the Westminster Choir.  The final piece will be Eugene Thamon Simpson’s arrangement of the spiritual “Hold On!”

For more information about the concert, contact Ward Jamison, director of choral activities, at (814) 332-3305.