Sunday, December 05, 2010

MRT Singers: Fall 2010
‘Tis the Season for the Madrigal Singers and MRT Jazz

Once again the HSU Madrigal Singers in Renaissance costume jumpstart the Christmas spirit, and the smaller ensemble of MRT Singers swing tunes from the jazz era to U2 and Neil Young, in their combined concert on Sunday December 5 at Fulkerson Recital Hall.

The Madrigal Singers perform two carols with different aspects of Christmas as their subjects. “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” is the best-known work of contemporary British composer John Gardner. “Wolcum Yole!” is from the often- recorded 1942 chorale work, Ceremony of Carols by famed 20th century English composer Benjamin Britten.

True to their name, the Madrigal Singers begin their program with madrigals popular in Shakespeare’s time. This year the emphasis of the Singers’ selections is young love, in madrigals by three of the eminent composers in this form: “Sweet Come Away My Darling” by Robert Jones, “Though Philomela Lost Her Love” by Thomas Morley and “Fa una canzona” by Orazio Vecchi. They end with a Baroque choral work, “Sing Sing Ye Muses” and a lyric ballad by John Rutter using a poem by Shakespeare, “Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind.”

Then the Mad River Transit Singers take the stage with a rhythm section of Darius Brotman on piano, Charles Welty on bass and John Thomas on drums. MRT specializes in various forms of jazz, blues and gospel singing. Among their tunes are special arrangements of “Wail” by Bud Powell, “Here’s That Rainy Day” by Jimmy Van Heusen, “MLK” by U2 and “After the Gold Rush” by Neil Young.

MRT soloists include Lucas Reichle, Sara Scibetta, Elena Tessler, Jessi Shieman, Gabriel Holeman and Jo Kuzelka. Both ensembles are directed by Harley Muilenburg, HSU Music professor of choral and vocal music.

The shared pre-Christmas concert by HSU Madrigal Singers and Mad River Transit Singers is Sunday December 5 at 8 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $7 general, $3 students/seniors, from the HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. Free to HSU students with ID. Directed by Harley Muilenburg, produced by HSU Music Department.

Media: Humboldt State Now, Arcata Eye, Humboldt Beacon.

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