(Posted April 27, 2015)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College Choral Union will perform a program of choral music set around the theme of "Homeward Bound" at its spring concert at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 28, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

The concert is free and open to the public. The Choral Union is directed by Russ Shelley, Elma Stine Heckler Professor of Music at Juniata.

The concert is free and open to the public. The Choral Union is directed by Russ Shelley, Elma Stine Heckler Professor of Music at Juniata.

The concert will open with "Forever Lift Your Voice," by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Two Juniata students will perform on the flute to accompany the ensemble: Katie Jeffress, a junior from Corpus Christi, Texas, and Phoebe Harnish, a sophomore from Christiana, Pa.

The next song, "How Can I Stop Singing My Song?" by Cynthia Gray, uses rhythmic textures to build excitement. The ensemble will return to classical composers with the next selection "Die Nachtigall," by Felix Mendelssohn, based on a poem, translated by Johan Goethe as "The Nightengale."

The next song, "Ashokan Farewell," will be familiar to fans of PBS documentaries as it was used as the title theme for Ken Burns' "The Civil War." "De Profundis," by Russell Robinson, is based on Psalm 130. The German composer Franz Schubert, composed "Der Tanz," which was adapted for choral music by Russell Robinson.

The next selection uses text by poet Langston Hughes in the song "I Dream a World," arranged by Andre Thomas. The Harlem Renaissance is followed by Mozart's "Laudate Dominum" from "Vesper solenne de confessore" Juniata student Bernard Devlin, a junior from Media, Pa., will accompany the ensemble on violin.

"A Distant Shore," by Mary Donnelly, is a partner song sung with the beloved folk song "The Water is Wide." The next selection is "Aurora Borealis," which sets a mystic mood as the song conjures up Alaska's Northern Lights.

The song "Sound the Trumpet" from "Come Ye Sons of Art" was written by British composer Henry Purcell (1659-1695) to honor the birthday of Quenn Mary II of England. Following that is "How Can I Keep from Singing," a joyous choral work by Alice Parker. "Waters Ripple and Flow," by Ruth Boshkoff, is based on a Slovakian folk song.

The concert will end with "Gaudeamus Hodie," by Earlene Rentz, and "Homeward Bound," which is arranged by Mack Wilberg. The ensemble is accompanied on four-hand piano by Donna Rhodes, a community member from Huntingdon, Pa.

The Choral Union is the largest choral ensemble at Juniata with a student membership of more than 90 and more than 50 members from communities in the Huntingdon area. The Juniata Choral Union traditionally performs larger choral works.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.