Fall Choral Concert Presents Three Vocal Ensembles on Oct. 29

Fall Choral Concert Presents Three Vocal Ensembles on Oct. 29

10/23/17 ASHLAND, Ohio – The Ashland University Choir, Women's Chorus and the Ashland Area Chorus will present a fall choral concert program ranging from a sacred cantata to madrigals, contemporary songs about the strength of women, spirituals and compositions from early English composers. The eclectic concert will be held on Sunday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m. in the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel and is free and open to the public.

Dr. Rowland Blackley, professor of Music and director of Choral Activities, will conduct the University Choir. Their portion of the program will include “Rejoice in the Lamb,” a cantata by Benjamin Britten with text by Christopher Smart. This highly dramatic work ultimately focuses on all things worshipping their Creator, venturing from near silence to rollicking dance, from seeming chaos to quiet serenity.

Organist for the piece is Dr. Timothy Guenther, while vocal soloists include Grace Fumic, Hannah Wise, Corey Turpin and Michael Cowan. The Choir also will sing "Ecco mormorar l’onde" by Claudio Monteverdi. This famous madrigal is an extended and evocative description of a sunrise, with poetry by Torquato Tasso, a 16th-century Italian writer. To round-out their portion of the concert, the choir will present “Her Sacred Spirit Soars” by the living composer Eric Whitacre. It is a structurally complex but sonically astounding piece that divides into 14 different voice parts at times.

Directed by Ashland University alumna Julie Strebler-Renner, the Women’s chorus’ selections will follow a theme of strength and hope including  "Be Like the Bird" by Abbie Betinis based on her perseverance through cancer treatments, "Warrior" by Kim Baryluk in response to violence against women, Deborah Lutz's African American spiritual "O Nata Lux" and Barbara Baker's gospel "The Storm Is Passing Over." Susan Gregg is the piano accompanist for the Women’s Chorus as well as the Ashland Area Chorus.

For the Ashland Area Chorus, director Elizabeth Slade has selected songs by 16th and 17th century English composers Thomas Tallis, Thomas Morely and Orlando Gibbons.

For more information about the Fall Choral Concert or the Department of Music, visit www.ashland.edu/music or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419-289-5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu.     

Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2017, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.                                                                                ###