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Juniata Choral Union Concert Offers Multicultural Music

(Posted April 22, 2013)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The spring concert for the Juniata College Choral Union will offer its audience the chance to experience soaring melodies from many cultures and several melodies taken from familiar folksongs at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 30, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

Admission to the concert is free. The Choral Union is directed and conducted by Russell Shelley, Elma Stine Heckler Professor of Music.

Admission to the concert is free. The Choral Union is directed and conducted by Russell Shelley, Elma Stine Heckler Professor of Music.

The concert will feature a variety of songs based on spirituals and folksongs. For example "Oh Mary Don't You Weep," is a spiritual based on the story where Mary of Bethany asks Jesus to raise Lazarus from the dead.

The hymn "Exsulsate Justi," which film fans will recognize from the movie "Empire of the Sun," will be featured, as will "Paudent Aetheri," by 18th-century Viennese composer Ignaz Holzbauer.

"The Arrow and the Song," based on the famous Henry W. Longfellow poem, "I show an arrow into the air," is based on an English folk melody. Other selections based on folk songs are Wayfaring Stranger," which was a folk hit by Burl Ives, and "Scarborough Fair," made famous by Simon and Garfunkel.

Two selections "Song of the River," and "Down by the Sally Gardens," which is based on a poem by William Butler Yeats, are based on the same English folksong, "Salley Gardens."

Irish history is at the heart of another folksong-based selection, "Cockles and Mussels," also known as "Molly Malone."

African-style music is at the heart of "Tiumbe," by David Waggoner, which is subtitled "Let There be Music." The French composer Jacques Offenbach wrote another selection, "The Neighbors' Chorus," taken from a comic opera "La jolie parfumeuse." The choral union also will perform "Amanti Costanti, by Wolfgang Mozart, taken from the composer's famous comic opera "The Marriage of Figaro."

The ensemble will perform "Ose Shalom," adapted from the Hebrew liturgy by John Leavitt, and "Homeland," which was inspired by a British patriotic song by composer Gustav Holst.

The modern spiritual, "A River in Judea," also arranged by John Leavitt, will be performed by the choral union as well.

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