Sunday, May 01, 2011

Madrigals Go Modern, MRT Stays Jazzy

In their annual spring concert the HSU Madrigal Singers mix the modern and the ancient, and the Mad River Transit Singers accent improvisations and variety with tunes from Duke Ellington and Stevie Wonder to Jimmy Van Heusen. Their voices share the Fulkerson Recital Hall stage on Sunday night, May 1.

The Madrigal Singers perform three “cabaret madrigals” by contemporary American composer William Bolcom and lyricist Arnold Weinstein, who also collaborated on notable operas such as McTeague and A View From the Bridge. These three songs vary from the humor of “Amor” and “Places to Live,” to the plaintive “Waitin’.”

Shakespeare’s sonnets are the theme of three songs by 20th century Anglo-American composer George Shearing and one by English Renaissance composer Thomas Morley. Soprano Cayla Crofts and soprano Tiffany Guenter solo on two of Shearing’s, with Justin Lomiglio adding bass guitar to Shearing’s “Fie on Sinful Fantasy.” The 26-voice ensemble also performs madrigals by Balthazar Donato, Thomas Ford and Gabriel Faure.

Taking over in the second half, the smaller ensemble called Mad River Transit explores jazz, blues and popular music, including Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish,” Duke Ellington’s “Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me” (arranged by Madrigal and MRT director Harley Muilenburg), Victor Young’s “Stella By Starlight,” and Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Call Me Irresponsible.”

With numerous solos and group combinations on the program, the singers are Jessi Shieman, Elena Tessler, Brandy Rose, Molly Severdia, Jo Kuzelka, Kalea Hammond, Cindy Cress, Amy Chalfant, Sara Scibetta, Claire Bent, Joseph Welnic, Dolan Leckliter, Lucas Reichle, Gabriel Holman and Colin Wagner. They are accompanied by Darius Brotman on piano, Charles Welty on bass and Dylan Williams on drums.

The HSU Madrigal Singers and Mad River Transit perform on Sunday May 1 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

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