Choir, Orchestra Combine for Annual Masterworks Concert
The Alma Symphony Orchestra and Alma College Choirs will team up once again for their annual masterworks concert, this year featuring Joseph Haydn’s “Mass in Time of War.”
The Alma Choirs have collaborated with the ASO each year since 1993. This year’s concert will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 5 in the Remick Heritage Center. Tickets are $10 for adults,$5 for seniors 62 and up, and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.
ASO Conductor Murray Gross will lead the Alma College Choir as it performs two pieces by Mozart from the choir’s Spring Break Tour, “Regina Coeli” and “Ave Verum Corpus,” in the first half of the performance. “Regina Coeli” features Stephanie VanSteenburg, Kim Lyon, Justin Sluiter and James DeZeeuw as soloists. The orchestra also will perform “Fratres,” a contemporary piece by Estonian composer Arvo Paert.
“The music in the first part of the concert balances really well,” says Gross. “The music of both Mozart and Paert reflects their religious beliefs; it’s great to realize that composers separated by hundreds of years still maintain a connection in their artistic endeavors.”
During the second half of the concert, the combined Alma Choirs, accompanied by the ASO, will perform Haydn’s Mass. The piece, featuring four soloists, will be conducted by Alma College Choir Director Will Nichols.
“We are pleased to welcome back three of our Alma Choir graduates back as soloists,” said Nichols.
Victoria Walker, voice lessons teacher at Alma College, will sing the soprano solos. The alto soloist, Kristen Dubenion-Smith, is a 2002 Alma grad who now sings professionally in Baltimore and its surrounding areas.
Wilson Nichols, a 2006 Alma graduate, will perform as the tenor soloist. He is currently finishing a master’s degree in voice at Michigan State University.
Matt Robertson, a 1998 Alma graduate, will return as the bass soloist. He works as a computer expert in the public schools and has had several roles in musical theatre productions, including Gaston in a recent production of “Beauty and the Beast.”
The decision to perform Haydn this year was made in part to honor of the 200th anniversary of the composer’s death.
“The ‘Mass in Time of War’ was chosen specifically because it is a good piece for the choirs and orchestra to perform together,” Nichols said. “It really showcases the talent of both groups.”
“It is wonderful to combine both the choirs and orchestra for this piece,” said Gross. “It will be a great experience for the audience.”
Posted: Mon, March 30th, 2009 at 10:38AM