Friday, May 09, 2008

A Concert in Contrasts

The HSU University Singers and the Humboldt Chorale present a contrasting program for their combined spring concert on Friday, May 9 in the Fulkerson Recital Hall.

The University Singers perform sections of two classic works in the category of sacred music. The Requiem Mass in D Minor (1791) was the last work composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Singers present six movements from the Requiem, including the “Tuba mirum,” which contains solos for all four vocal parts. These will be performed by Kaia Renouf (soprano), Veronica Stahl (alto), David Powell (tenor) and Kevin Nakatani (bass.)

The second work is from a very different era: “Symphony of Psalms,” written by Igor Stravinsky in 1930. The University Singers perform the final movement of this three movement piece. Each movement centers on a particular psalm. The third movement expresses Psalm 150, with its theme of praise.

Both of these works were written for orchestra and chorus. In this concert, HSU Music Department staff pianist will play the piano reductions of the orchestral score. “Chernoff’s amazing technical and musical abilities at the keyboard will be featured in both selections,” said Harley Muilenburg, conductor of the University Singers.

In the second half of the concert, the Humboldt Chorale changes the mood with a selection of show tunes, from as far back as Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance” (1879) and the first true American musical, Jerome Kern’s “Show Boat” (1927), to songs by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Leonard Bernstein.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein songs are “June Is Busting Out All Over” from the 1945 musical “Carousel,” and the title song of the 1943 musical “Oklahoma.” Leonard Bernstein is represented by “Somewhere” from “West Side Story” (written with Stephen Sondheim), which premiered on Broadway in 1957, and “Make Our Garden Grow” from “Candide” (1956.) The Cole Porter tune is “Anything Goes” from the 1934 musical of the same name.

The Humboldt Chorale, under the direction of Carol Ryder, consists of 70 singers. As it has since its founding a half century ago, the Chorale consists of HSU students and members of local communities. Larry Pitts is the keyboard accompanist.

This combined concert on May 9 begins at 8 PM in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $7 general, $3 students and seniors, from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. HSU students free with ID. The concert is produced by the HSU Department of Music.

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