(Posted November 9, 2015)

The Juniata Choral Union, shown in concert several years ago, has community members in its lineup. It performs at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 17, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.
The Juniata Choral Union, shown in concert several years ago, has community members in its lineup. It performs at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 17, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College Choral Union will perform vocal classics ranging from Beethoven to the Beatles at the ensemble's fall concert at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 17, 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 Russell Shelley, Elma Stine Heckler Professor of Music.

The concert opens with "We Are the Music Makers," which sets the poem by Arthur O'Shaughnessy (famous for its line "we are the music makers/We are the dreamers of dreams") to music. Next, "And This Shall be for Music" by Victor C. Johnson, a contemporary arranger who uses the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson, author of "Treasure Island," as lyrics in this selection.

The choral group will next sing "Ave Maria," written by Gulio Caccini with accompaniment on flute by Phoebe Harnish, a sophomore from Christiana, Pa. The song is an aria that has been recorded by many opera and pop singers. "Laudate Jehovan omnes gentes," by Georg Philipp Telemann, finishes with an astonishing "Alleluia" section. Bernard Devlin, a senior from Media, Pa., provides accompaniment on violin.

The group tackles Beethoven's choral pieces by singing "Winter Pathétique," arranged by Audrey Snyder and based on a Beethoven composition. Following that, the ensemble will perform "Goin' Home," which is based on music from Antonin Dvorak's "New World Symphony."

The choral union will perform "Gaudeamus Hodie!" by Mary Lynn Lightfoot, which is fueled by percussive handclaps, followed by "Oceans and Stars," by Amy Bernon, which uses the image of a river flowing to the sea as a central theme.

"Rain," by Paul Langford, is the next selection based on an original poem with the opening line "I think that when the world was young/Rain must have been our native tongue, yours and mine." Next, the group sings "And the Night Shall be Filled With Music," by Greg Gilpin, which features a hushed chant and is based on a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem.

Classic composers John Lennon and Paul McCarney are represented by a choral treatment of "The Long and Winding Road," followed by "The Cloths of Heaven," arrranged by Douglas Wagner, which uses a poem by William Butler Yeats as lyrics.

Next is "Song for the Mira" by Allister MacGillivray, a Nova Scotian composer who wrote the song for the Mira River in Nova Scotia's Cape Breton region. Flutist Phoebe Harnish will accompany the group. The concert will end with "Festival Alleluia," by Sonja Poorman.

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.