Sunday, May 08, 2011

Humboldt Chorale soloists Katherine Kinley and James Gadd
 It Might As Well Be Spring with University Singers and Humboldt Chorale

HSU University Singers and the Humboldt Chorale perform choral classics from settings for Latin Masses to famous opera and musical choruses in their shared spring concert at Fulkerson Recital Hall on Sunday night, May 8.

“The Latin texts for the Mass are concise: The Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei only take about three minutes to recite,” notes HSU University Singers director and HSU Music professor Harley Muilenburg. “Yet the greatest composers in Western music have provided the most extraordinary settings, so much so that the history of music could not be properly told without mention of the great Masses.”

University Singers soloist Molly Severida

The University Singers present three settings of the central text, the Sanctus. Soprano Molly Severida sings the Sanctus by 19th century French composer Charles Gounod from his famous Mass for St. Cecilia. Severida is joined by tenor Colin Wagner, alto Tina Toomata and bass Theodore Higbee in a contrasting contemporary Sanctus by Canadian composer John Burge, from his Mass dedicated to Amnesty International. The Singers perform the Sanctus from 19th century composer Gabriel Faure’s Requiem, his most celebrated work.

Tenors Chelsea Rothchild and Chase La Rue, soprano Cara Crofts, alto Sara Scibetta and bass Elliott Pennington are featured in a sacred motet by Baroque composer Il Padre Giovanni Baptisma. Scibetta is soloist for Josephine Poelintiz’s “City Called Heaven,” and soprano Kalea Hammond is featured in “The Lone Wild Bird,” a Presbyterian hymn arranged for the University Singers by Harley Muilenberg. The Singers finish with a Nova Scotia folk song and a traditional Scottish/Irish ballad featuring a flute solo by Caitlin Denning.

The Humboldt Chorale, a community group with singers of all ages, is conducted by Carol Ryder. Among their selections of opera choruses are The Brindisi from Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata, with soloists James Gadd and Katherine Kinley, and Dido’s Lament from Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell, with soloist Cindy Cress. Other pieces include choruses from Rossini’s William Tell and Verdi’s Nabucco.

The Chorale then performs choruses from musical theatre and film, including from “The Rhythm of Life” in the Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields musical Sweet Charity, the Rodgers and Hammerstein tune “It Might As Well Be Spring” from the movie State Fair, and a sultry “Summertime” from George Gershwin’s classic Porgy and Bess.

HSU University Singers and the Humboldt Chorale perform on Sunday May 8 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. University Singers directed by Harley Muilenburg, Humboldt Chorale directed by Carol Ryder; concert produced by HSU Music Department.

Media: Humboldt State Now, Arcata Eye, Humboldt Beacon, North Coast Journal

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