DEFIANCE, Ohio - Defiance College Chamber Singers and Choral Union will present their annual spring choral concert entitled “New Beginnings” on Sunday, April 28, at 4:30 p.m. The event will be held in the sanctuary of St. John United Church of Christ located at 950 Webster St.
The Choral Union will perform “Sunrise Mass,” symphonic mass for SSAATTBB Chorus and string orchestra composed by Ola Gjeilo. Gjeilo was born in Norway and studied in New York at the Julliard School and the Royal College of Music in London. He is now based in the United States working as a full-time composer and solo pianist.
The Sunrise Mass was commissioned by Majorstua Kammerkor and Kammerkoret Nova, with support from the Arts Council Norway, and premiered November 2008 in Oslo, Norway. While the text is sung mostly in Latin, English titles are used for the four movements; I. The Spheres, II. Sunrise, III. The City, IV. Identity and the Ground. Gjeilo describes the piece as a spiritual journey and a metaphor for human development from child to adult.
The Chamber Singers will start the second half of the concert, continuing with the theme of growth and new beginnings with a series of songs of nature. They include themes with spring in mind: birds, flowers, and the peacefulness of water. Completing the Chamber Singers selection will be a set of American folksongs including selections by Aaron Copland, Craig Hella Johnson and Bob Chilcott.
The concert will close with the choirs combining for two selections. The first is the colonial folksong “Nightingale” accompanied by four-hand piano and solo violin. The second is Mack Wilberg’s upbeat rendition of “Cindy” accompanied by four-hand piano, bass and marimba. “Building this concert program has been a tremendous amount of fun. The idea of the music program rebuilding here at Defiance College was a true inspiration. I hope our audience enjoys the program as much as we have had putting it together,” said Andrew Schultz, director of music programs.
The DC Chamber Singers was re-established in the spring of 2010 and has continued to perform on campus and in the surrounding community since. The 38-member ensemble consists of all DC students that perform a mix of sacred and secular music with a variety of classical and popular styles.
The Defiance College Choral Union consists of DC students, college personnel and community members from all over Northwest Ohio. The spring concert is one of three annual events presented by the ensemble including the W. Oscar Jones Choral Festival and the annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. The group rehearses on Monday nights and is always happy to welcome new members.
The event is free and open to the public. A free-will offering will be taken at the end of the performance. More information about Defiance College Music Programs can be found at www.defiance.edu/music
Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts institution in Northwest Ohio offering more than 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. The college website is www.defiance.edu.