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In Unison: Concert Choir to Perform in Concert

(Posted November 1, 2010)

Russell Shelley, Elma Stine Heckler Professor of Music, will conduct the concert at 3 p.m., Nov. 7

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- From an old Shaker hymn to a song used in a video game, the Juniata College Concert Choir will perform an eclectic mix of international, classic and modern songs at its performance at 3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 7 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 choir is conducted by Russell Shelley, Elma Stine Heckler Professor of Music.

The concert opens with "Simple Gifts," the hymn written by an elder of the Shaker faith. The song was fairly obscure until composer Aaron Copland used the melody for his composition "Appalachian Spring." Sara Deppenbrook, a sophomore from Beaver Falls, Pa., will accompany the choir on flute.

Hymns continue, as the choir performs "Blow Ye the Trumpet," from Kirke Mechem's opera "John Brown." The song was one of John Brown's favorite hymns.

The Choir will then sing "The Country Fair," a composition about the philosopher Diogenes, and "Hymne au Soliel," by Lili Boulanger. The concert segues into international selections such as "Veniki," by Russian composer Feodosiy Rubtsov, and "The Sally Gardens," by British composer Benjamin Britten, which uses lyrics by poet William Butler Yeats. "Tiumbe," subtitled "Let There be Music," uses Swahili chants interplaying with the song's lyrics.

Erin Burt, a senior from Spring, Texas, will accompany the choir on cello on "Iraqi Peace Song." The ensemble will then perform "J'entends le Moulin," followed by "The Blooming Bright Star of Belle Isle," an Irish love song.

The next selection will be "Ritmo," a Latin-style piece that will be accompanied by Cathy Scafidi, a lecturer in music at Juniata, playing four-hand piano. Poetry re-enters the concert as the ensemble sings "Jabberwocky," an arrangement that sets the Lewis Carroll poem to music. The choir also will perform "Stars I Shall Find," which uses a poem by Sara Teasdale as its lyrical foundation.

As the concert builds to the end, the choir will perform "Baba Yetu," a song used in the videogame "Civilization IV." The lyrics are a Swahili version of "The Lord's Prayer." The Earle Hagen composition "Harlem Nocturne" will follow, and the concert will end with "Shout Glory!"

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.