The university Men’s and Women’s Chorus will take on an impressive range of choral music, which spans multiple eras, countries and styles at the Griffin Concert Hall Friday evening.
The Men’s Chorus will tackle a set of war-themed songs, including pieces from the Civil War and World War I. They will also sing some Eastern European music with an aggressive tone that fits nicely with the war theme, according to Ryan Olsen, director of the Men’s Chorus.
“This performance is later than usual. We normally perform closer to spring break, so we were able to pick some harder music,” Olsen said. “Everyone has been working really hard and I think this is a great chance to really show off these ensembles.”
Directed by Stuart Dameron, the University Chorus has been working on a collection of songs called Animal Crackers written by Eric Whitacre and based on poems by Ogden Nash.
“Eric Whitacre is kind of a rock star choral composer of the modern day,” Dameron said. “We’re performing six short pieces that he wrote, each featuring a different animal and based on poems by Ogden Nash, that are funny, clever and just very entertaining to perform.”
As an example, one of the poems Whitacre drew inspiration from, entitled “The Cow,” reads “The cow is of the bovine ilk/One end is moo, the other, milk.”
The University Chorus will also perform a few other songs that will create a completely secular set of music, which is in contrast to their last performance that only featured sacred songs.
The Women’s Chorus will be performing a set focused on diversity, covering music from France, the Netherlands and Ecuador.
“The group has put in a lot of rehearsal time,” said Stacy Miller, the Women’s Chorus director. “They have also done some of their own research to further their knowledge of the pieces and where they come from, so they’ll be bringing that to their performance as well.”
Diversity will be incorporated into the performance, not only through the music that will be sung but also through the singers themselves.
Of the three choruses set to perform, only a small portion of participants are music majors. Any CSU student can be part of the Men’s or Women’s Chorus, so people majoring in everything from education to equine science come together to create these ensembles.
“It is a chance for people from different majors and from different backgrounds to meet and to create something as a group and a team,” Miller said. “I think it’s a really unique way for women on campus to get involved with music.”
The University Chorus opens up the pool of possible participants even more by allowing people who aren’t students to join. This means that faculty, alumni and other community members will all be included in the performance.
The University and Men’s Chorus are also unique in that they don’t require participants to audition before joining.
“There should be an opportunity for everyone to sing in a choir if they want to, even if they don’t want to go through the stressful and sometimes grueling process of auditioning,” Dameron said.
Tickets can be purchased online, and are $7 for students, $12 for adults and $1 for anyone under 18. Tickets bought at the door before the performance begins at 7:30 p.m. will also have a $3 processing fee.
Music and Performing Arts Beat Reporter Katie Salka can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.