PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University’s annual showcase of choral and vocal ensembles is set for Friday, Oct. 29.
Sponsored by the School of Music and Theatre Arts, Vocal Extravaganza is planned for 8 p.m. in Bryan Hall Auditorium. It is open to the public without charge.
This concert will highlight the six university groups: Madrigal Singers, University Singers, Opera Workshop, Concert Choir, VoJazz and Crimson Company.
The Madrigal Singers will open the program with Renaissance madrigals by French, Spanish and English composers. The group also will perform a contemporary madrigal by American William Hawley based on an Italian poem written by Torquato Tasso. The Madrigal Singers perform in Renaissance costumes donated by WSU librarian Alice Spitzer and are conducted by Lori Wiest.
The University Singers, conducted by Charles Neufeld, will be performing African choral music and contemporary Australian music by award-winning composer Stephen Leek. The singers are excited about Leek’s “Breakers,” said Neufeld.
“The rhythmic drive and visual imagery of the setting are wonderful — and characteristic of much of Leek’s output,” he said. “Leek builds great meaning with a simple musical vocabulary.” Neufeld is a new faculty member who is teaching choral music education and voice.
Julie Wieck, director of Opera Workshop, has programmed scenes from operas by Rossini, Bizet and Verdi. “La Cenerentola,” by Rossini, is the story of Cinderella and her two stepsisters, who love to torment her. Another well-known opera scene will be from Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.” A scene from Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers” tells the story of a Hindi village that makes its living by fishing for pearls. The final scene will be from Verdi’s “Falstaff,” which is based on Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” about a typical Don Juan who sets out to woo two married and respectable ladies.
Concert Choir, also conducted by Wiest, will conclude the first half of the concert. Selections will include “Glory to God in the Highest” by American composer Randall Thompson; “Ave Maria,” a beautiful prayer composed by David Conte; “God is Seen,” an arrangement by Alice Parker; and “Ride On, King Jesus,” arranged by Moses Hogan, featuring pianist Amy Bland and vocal soloists Kristofer Barber and Julie Silvera Jensen. The choir will also perform “Lament for a Lost Child” by Jere Hutcheson. The piece, based on sounds that children would make, is a loving memory of innocent children who have been lost or have died, Wiest said. The soloist will be Beth Delaney.
Following the intermission, VoJazz, directed by Horace Young, and Crimson Company, directed by Roger Kelley, will perform.