MEADVILLE, Pa. – March 26, 2008 – The Allegheny College Choirs will present their annual spring concert on Saturday, April 12, at 4 p.m. in Shafer Auditorium on the Allegheny campus. The concert is free and open to the public.
In conjunction with a regional philosophy conference on white privilege and racism, held at Allegheny on April 4-5, the concert will feature African American spirituals, including a recently published spiritual by Allegheny alumnus Jeffrey Webb, class of 1998. Each choral group will perform a contrasting piece from the many types of spirituals as arranged for choirs. The new Webb piece, which will be sung by the combined choirs, will be the concert finale.
Eleven Allegheny students will appear as soloists during the spirituals portion of the program. Rachel Keaton and Matthew DeDiana will sing with the Chamber Choir on “Morning Trumpet” as arranged by Robert Shaw and Alice Parker for the Robert Shaw Chorale. Alyssa Gumkowski and JoAnn Yovetich will perform with the Women's Ensemble on “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” arranged by Jeffrey Webb.
Stephen Dickson, Dalton Phillips, Christine Wagner, Sara Curtiss, Alyssa Gumkowski and Peter Fill will sing with the College Choir on “Ain't Got Time to Die” by Hall Johnson. Calley Garnon and Christina Dastolfo will join the combined choirs on “Oh, What a Beautiful City!” arranged by Jeffrey Webb. In addition, the College Chorus will sing “I Hear a Voice a-Prayin'” by Houston Bright.
The College Choir will perform Randall Thompson's “The Last Words of David,” accompanied by piano instructor Wendy Plyler, as a tribute to the leadership of Allegheny president Richard J. Cook. Other sacred works on the concert include “Exultate Deo” by Alessandro Scarlatti; “By the Waters of Babylon” by Iowa composer Paul Beckhelm; and “Ani ma'amin,” a Hebrew song of faith associated with the Holocaust Remembrance Service.
The concert program also includes a number of love songs and songs about spring. The Chamber Choir will perform the first of Debussy's “Three Chansons” and Ralph Vaughan Williams' “Just as the Tide was Flowing.” Sara Teasdale's romantic reminiscence “Strephon Kissed Me,” set to music by George Heussenstamm, will be presented by the Women's Ensemble. They will also sing Crystal Kowalski's rousing “Hey Nonny No.”
The wit and wisdom of Dorothy Parker make up the sarcastic text of Daniel Gawthrop's “Shantey,” to be sung by the College Chorus. Subtle sarcasm is also featured in Orlando Gibbons' madrigal “The Silver Swan,” which the Chamber Choir will present. The Chorus will represent the German madrigal repertoire with “Nun fanget an” by Hans Leo Hassler. The College Choir will also sing “Walking on the Green Grass,” a choral square dance from the American frontier, by Michael Hennagin, and a part-song by Joannes Brahms, “Waldesnacht, du wunderkuehle,” in praise of the escape from daily stress that can be found in the forest.
For more information, contact Director of Choral Activities Ward Jamison at 814-332-3305.