PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University’s School of Music and Theatre Arts will present its annual Vocal Extravaganza as part of Dad’s Weekend activities Nov. 2 in Bryan Hall Auditorium. The 8 p.m. program features six WSU choral/vocal ensembles, including Madrigal Singers, University Singers, Concert Choir, Opera Workshop, VoJazz and Crimson Revue. Tickets are $5 and available from noon to performance time Nov. 2, in the Bryan Hall lobby.
Opening the Dad’s Weekend performance will be the Madrigal Singers, directed by faculty member Lori Wiest. The 22-member ensemble performs in costumes reminiscent of those worn during the Renaissance. They will perform an arrangement of “Gaudete” by Brian Kay and four English madrigals from the Renaissance, including, “Fly Not So Swift, My Dear” by John Wilbye, “My Bonny Lass She Smileth” and “Fyer, Fyer,” both by Thomas Morley, and “Weep O Mine Eyes” by John Bennet.
WSU’s University Singers will perform an arrangement of “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” featuring Latin chanting about horses, cows, chickens and dogs. “The Nebraska composer and arranger Z. Randall Stroope has given us a very funny, medieval-sounding arrangement of the song we all know,” said Charles Neufeld, conductor of University Singers. “He has managed to create an interesting mix of serious music with the ‘neigh neighs, moo moos and cluck clucks’ of the song.”
The WSU Concert Choir, also conducted by Wiest, will open its portion of the program with “Psalm 117” by Greg Knauf, followed by a Newfoundland folk song, “Feller from Fortune” arranged by Harry Somers. The choir will continue with a new arrangement of the traditional Scottish folk song “Loch Lomond” by Jonathan Quick, “Dieu! qui la fait bon regarder!” from Trois Chansons by Claude Debussy and “Rytmus” by Slovakian contemporary composer Ivan Hrusovsky.
Opera Workshop members will perform selections from two Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, “The Pirates of Penzance” and “Ruddigore.” Gilbert and Sullivan wrote 14 operettas together over their 25-year collaboration from 1871-96. The 28 students, directed by faculty member Julie Anne Wieck, also will perform these and other scenes from the works at 8 p.m. Nov. 15 in Bryan Hall Auditorium.
A smaller ensemble of seven singers this year, VoJazz will perform new arrangements and compositions and reintroduce the audience to standard vocal jazz pieces from the 1970s. The ensemble’s new director, Gus Kambeitz, comes from a tradition of vocal jazz, having performed, toured, studied or worked with Phil Mattson, Take 6, SoVoSo, Michelle Weir and The Bobs.
Crimson Revue is a 10-person musical ensemble that selects its repertoire from pop, soft rock, adult contemporary, and rhythm and blues, with an emphasis on music recorded since 1970. Its performance, directed by faculty member Horace Alexander Young, will include arrangements of “That’s the Way It Is” by Celine Dion, “How Do You Keep the Music Playing” by James Ingram and Patti Austin and “I Need To Know” by Marc Anthony.