Cumberland Times-News

March 18, 2010

Shippensburg Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers to perform on March 27

For the Cumberland Times-News
Cumberland Times-News

— BEDFORD, Pa. — The Shippensburg University Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers will present a concert of sacred and secular music at Bedford United Methodist Church, 132 E. John St., on March 27 as part of the Pennsylvania Consort’s Guest Artist Series.

The concert, which will begin at 7:30 p.m., is sponsored by Jim and Nancy MacRae.

The Concert Choir, composed of students representing all schools of the university, is an ensemble of approximately 60 singers selected by audition. Their repertoire consists of classic and contemporary works plus a variety of folk songs and show music.

Over the years, the choir has sung under the direction of Aaron Copland, Vincent Persichetti, Alan Hovhaness, and Daniel Pinkham as part of weeklong festivals centered on the music of these composers. The choir’s season includes several on-campus concerts as well as an annual tour.

The choir will feature three settings of the text of the second part of the ordinary of the Roman Catholic Mass “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” (Glory to God in the Highest). One setting is by the great 19th century opera composer Giacomo Puccini and another by the 20th Century French composer, Francis Poulenc.

The third is a setting in gospel style by the contemporary composer Robert Ray. Compositions by Rene Clausen and John Rutter as well as songs from the Broadway show, “Stop the World—I Want to Get Off” by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley are also on the program. Included in the medley are songs such as “What Kind of Fool Am I,” “Gonna Build a Mountain” and “Once in a Lifetime.”

The Madrigal Singers, an ensemble of 21 voices selected from the choir, will feature two motets by Maurice Durufle, as well as the music of Faure, Perry, Landes, and Gershwin. Throughout the year the Madrigals perform at various events at the University as well as tour throughout Pennsylvania and nearby states.

The group has also concertized in Austria, Germany, France, England and Italy. Cyril Thomas, critic for the Welsh newspaper “Ystrad Mynach,” wrote, “The sheer professionalism of the choir ... was a joy to behold and says much for the standard of choral singing in the States.” In March of 2006, the Singers toured Spain where they concertized in Cordoba, Granada, and Torremolinos and are looking forward to a tour of France in the near future.

This past December they sang backup to Kenny Rogers for his Christmas show at the Luhrs Performing Arts Center.

The Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers are under the direction of Blaine Shover, professor of music at Shippensburg University.

Advance tickets are available at the Visitors Bureau, Fisher’s Pharmacy, and Moe’z Art Music in Bedford and at the Everett Rexall Pharmacy and also will be available at the door. Student tickets are half the adult price.

For more information, contact Nancy MacRae at (814) 733-2301 or e-mail at paconsort@artsinbedfordpa.org.