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By Kathryn Kopchik
LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Bucknell University Concert Chorale will present its annual fall concert Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2:30 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell.
The concert, which is free and open to the public, is conducted by William Payn, professor of music at Bucknell, with David Cover as accompanist.
"Celebrations" includes a selection of works in honor of life and good health, commitment, human discovery and fulfillment, the Nativity and American tradition.
The program begins with two works by Franz Schubert: "An die Sonne (To the Sun)" with poetry by Johann Peter Uz, and "Der Tanz (The Dance)" with poetry by Kolumban Schnitzer von Meerau. Then the chorale will perform Daniel Pinkham's "Wedding Cantata", a four-movement work that features the exotic, sensual poetry from "Song of Songs."
In celebration of The Nativity, the chorale will perform "Lux Aurumque" by Eric Whitacre with poetry by Edward Esch; "Ave Maria" by Franz Biebl, sung by the men of the Concert Chorale and the Rooke Chapel Choir; and "O Magnum Mysterium" by Morten Lauridsen. Poetry by Walt Whitman is part of the work celebrating human discovery in "Toward the Unknown Region" by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
The concert will close with a selection of works celebrating the American tradition, beginning with "Leander" from Southern Harmony by William Duckworth, professor of music at Bucknell for 38 years and an internationally renowned composer/teacher. "This piece is being sung to commemorate and honor his Bucknell work and his impressive achievements world-wide," said Payn, of his colleague Duckworth who died earlier this year.
The Duckworth piece will be followed by the early American folk song "O Shenandoah;" and three traditional African-American spirituals — "I'm Goin' Home on a Cloud," "In Dat Great Gittin' Up Mornin'" and "Elijah Rock."
The Bucknell University Concert Chorale is a mixed chorus of students from various fields of study at Bucknell. Formed in 1964 by Allen Flock, the Chorale presents annual programs of secular and sacred music. In addition to its public concerts on campus, the ensemble has traveled extensively throughout the United States.
In recent years, the ensemble has sung with the Washington National Symphony Orchestra, the Chorale of Simon Bolivar of Caracas, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and for the Music Educators' National Conference in Atlantic City.
Other notable concert appearances included the New York University Choral Arts Society in Lincoln Center in 1984; the Eastern Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Washington, D.C., in 1994, and a performance of Handel's Messiah with the Brewer Ensemble of original instruments that same year.
The Chorale was invited to sing David Willcock's Sing Praises under the composer's direction at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1999; that same year, the Chorale participated in Paul Winter's premiere of The Tree, on Bucknell's campus. The following year, Winter invited the Chorale to join four other choirs to sing his Earth Mass for the Feast of Saint Francis at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City.
The Chorale joined forces with the George Washington University Choir, directed by 1997 Bucknell graduate Matthew Mehaffey, with concerts at Bucknell and in Washington, D.C., in 2003. In 2005. the Concert Chorale participated in a performance at the new Strathmore Center for the Arts where the singers combined with other choral ensembles to sing the Rutter Mass of the Children and the Dvorak Te Deum with the National Philharmonic.
The next Bucknell performance will take place Sunday, April 7, 2013, at 2:30 p.m.
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