A Night to Remember: Concert Orchestra with Concert Choir
Bands, Music, University Center for the Arts | March 03, 2016
By Madeline Bombardi, UCA Marketing Intern
If you are moved by musical journeys, then join the School of Music, Theatre and Dance at Colorado State University for a night of Remembrance with the Concert Choir and Concert Orchestra’s performance of Anne Frank: A Living Voice by Linda Tutas Haugen and Paul Hindemith’s Trauermusik. The FREE concert takes place on Saturday, March 5 at 2 p.m.
The Concert Choir and Concert Orchestra come together to tell the heartrending story of Anne Frank’s life as a child during the Holocaust. This choral song cycle for women’s choir and strings takes the audience on the emotional path Anne Frank underwent as she tried to comprehend the events of World War II. The choir sings Frank’s own words published in A Diary of Anne Frank, and emits a range of emotions including fear, confusion, heartbreak, hope, and even the optimism and joy of a young adolescent.
“I learned about Anne Frank: A Living Voice a few years ago when CSU hosted the conference for the National Collegiate Choral Organization, and a choir from Western Michigan University performed selections from the larger work,” said Ryan Olsen, professor of Choral Music Education and director of the Concert Choir. “I knew immediately that I wanted to program it whenever I had a women’s chorus to work with, and this year, the Concert Choir was a choir of all women, so the timing was perfect.”
With his choir performance set in motion, Dr. Olsen saw an opportunity to collaborate with the Concert Orchestra, giving the event a new twist. Often performed with string quartet accompaniment, the piece will be performed for the first time with a full chamber orchestra. The composer, Linda Tutas Haugen, will be attending the performance.
“We will be performing all seven movements for the first time with [the] choir and small orchestra. So this will actually be a world premiere in this version” stated Olsen.
In preparation for the concert, Tutas Haugen will be working with the choir and orchestra. “I’m most excited to share these pieces with our students, the audience, and with the composer herself,” said Olsen. ”It has been very enlightening…to experience these pieces through her perspective.”
While performing can be an exhilarating experience, preparing a musically daunting piece can be demanding. ““The composer does not use any key signatures throughout the entire seven movements, so there are a lot of sharps and flats and it can be very difficult to figure out which ‘key’ we are in at any given point in time,” shared Olsen. “Choral music is notorious for being major-key-centric, so having our singers experience singing in, and identifying the various modes in their music, is unique and challenging.”
Also on the program is Hindemith’s Trauermusik (Music of Mourning), on which Professor Margaret Miller will be the featured viola soloist. Miller is assistant professor of Viola and coordinator of the Graduate Quartet Program at CSU where she teaches viola and coaches chamber music ensembles. The orchestra is conducted by Chris Reed, special assistant of Voice at CSU.
Trauermusik is a German suite created in honor of the passing of King George V in 1936. Hindemith begins the piece with a unified violin section, invoking a celebratory and triumphant sound which quickly transitions to a moment of great sadness, tragedy, and loss fostered by the cello and bass sections. The soloist performs in such a way that it resembles a eulogy, marking the importance and success of the British King.
The music of the evening has been constructed with a lasting theme; though there is great sadness and sorrow in our world, we share moments of beauty and joy together. Each of these pieces conveys heavy-hearted emotion, bringing the listener to remember and honor the loss of historical figures through time.
Tickets for the performance are no charge for Full-fee paying CSU students, $1 for youth (under 18), and $12 for the public. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the UCA lobby Monday through Friday, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 60 minutes prior to performances, by phone at (970) 491-ARTS (2787), or online at www.CSUArtsTickets.com.
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