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Music at St. Mary's

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A St. Cloud State choral group on stage

The concert will include performances by the Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Women�s Choir and Men�s Choir.

The “Music at St. Mary’s” choral concert tradition continues with performances by four choirs, a guest organist and the crashing, smashing sounds of thunder and lighting, courtesy of the Percussion Ensemble.

A signature St. Cloud State event, "Music at St. Mary's" is 3 p.m. Nov. 22 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, in downtown St. Cloud.

Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and non−St. Cloud State students. One free ticket is available with a St. Cloud State ID.

The concert will open with "O Clap Your Hands," by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958).

Accompanying will be organist Charles Echols, a faculty emeritus with more than a quarter-century of experience playing the St. Mary's pipe organ.

Among the contemporary performances will be Eric Whitacre's "Cloudburst and Sydney Guillaume's "Twa Tanbou."

"Cloudburst" will feature a collaboration with the university's Percussion Ensemble. Vocalists will sing, speak and suggest rain with finger snapping and clapping. Percussionists will deliver thunder and lightning with bass drums, wind chimes, bells and a thunder sheet.

The combined effect is ethereal, according to Matthew Ferrell, interim director of choral activities. "Cloudburst" garnered a 2007 Grammy nomination for Whitacre, who was 22 at the time.

"Twa Tanbou," is a Haitian tune performed in the native patois. Sung in four parts at a breakneck pace, it leaves audiences breathless. A performance at the Oct. 9 Alumni Awards earned a standing ovation.

Classical numbers on the program include "Cantate Domino" by Heinrich Schutz (1585-1672) and Zum Schluss by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897).

The concert will include performances by the Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Women’s Choir and Men’s Choir. Ferrell will conduct the Concert and Chamber choirs. Mary Jo Bot, adjunct instructor, will conduct the Women's Choir. Mark Potvin, graduate student, will conduct the Men's Choir.

The Percussion Ensemble is directed by Terry Vermillion, department chair.

For more information, contact the Music Department at 320-308-3223 or Matthew Ferrell at maferrell@stcloudstate.edu. A portion of the ticket proceeds go toward scholarships for St. Cloud State music students. 

The Music Department is the most comprehensive music department in the MnSCU system with 18 full-time and eight part-time faculty and 140 undergraduate and graduate students.

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