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Concert Choir Performance to Feature Handel's Solomon

Published: 11-9-2010 9:10 am

The Wayne State College Concert Choir will present its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11 in Ramsey Theatre in the Peterson Fine Arts Building. The concert will include works by Handel, Benjamin Britten, Irving Fine, Donald Moore, Alan Hovhaness and Randall Thompson.
"As always, we're going to try to have a varied program," said Ronald Lofgren, Associate Professor of Music and director of the ensemble. The concert will start with two choruses from Handel's oratorio Solomon. "Most people are familiar with Handel's Messiah," Lofgren said, "but Solomon is actually more typical of the genre. It tells a story you can follow, rather than being a series of meditations." The choruses being performed are "Music Spread Thy Voice Around" and "May No Rash Intruder."
"In 'May No Rash Intruder', Solomon and his queen are retiring for the night, and the chorus sings this lovely, gentle piece that includes the line 'May nightingales lull them to sleep with their song,' complete with 'nightingale calls' in the orchestral parts being represented by flutes.  It is one of the most beautiful choruses of any Handel oratorio," Lofgren said.

The program also includes Choral Dances from "Gloriana" by Benjamin Britten.  The college's Choir and Wind Ensemble are touring Scotland and England in May, and Lofgren said he wanted to represent those countries in the performances.  Britten was one of the most important British composers of the twentieth century.  This set of six choruses is sung as "Gloriana" (a nickname given to Queen Elizabeth I) has visited an English city and the inhabitants present her with gifts.

Irving Fine set three pieces from Alice in Wonderland for chorus. They are The Lobster Quadrille, Lullaby of the Duchess and Father William.

"These pieces require an excellent accompanist, and we are fortunate to have Phil Pfaltzgraff as our staff accompanist," Lofgren said.  "This set of pieces really gives him a chance to show off, and gives us a chance to enjoy his artistry." 

Donald Moore's setting of the Robert Burns poem "My Heart's in the Highlands" is a piece the choir will perform on tour, and it will be shared during the concert as well.  Rounding out the program are Alleluia by Alan Hovhaness and The Last Words of David by Randall Thompson.

The performance is free and open to the public.


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