Friday, March 23 , 2018, 2:28 am | Fair 51º


Gerald Carpenter: SBCC Concert Choir to Lift Their Voices for America

Nathan Kreitzer will direct Saturday evening's performance at First United Methodist Church

The SBCC Concert Choir, under the direction of the benign magus Nathan Kreitzer, will wrap up their season with a concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church, 305 E. Anapamu St.

Collaborative keyboardist Josephine Brummel will provide the accompaniment.

The program will include the following, all sung by the choir, except the selections followed by parentheses, which are solos from the Applied Voice Program:

“America the Beautiful” arranged by John Douglas (Hosannah Alm, soprano); “Alleluia” by Randall Thompson; “Ain’t It a Pretty Night,” from Susannah, by Carlisle Floyd (Callie Barbour, soprano); “The Little Horses” by Aaron Copland; “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin (Megan Kaster. soprano); “Amazing Grace” arranged by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw (Sarah Pappas, soprano); “With Rue My Heart Is Laden” and “Sure on This Shining Night” by Samuel Barber (Sarah Denise Kreitzer, soprano); “Barter” by Michael Eglin; “Keep America Singing” by Willis Diekema; “Lonely House” from Streetscene by Kurt Weill (Myron Aguilar, tenor); “Hear My Prayer” by Moses Hogan; “The Battle of Jericho,” arranged by Hogan; “Psalm 148” from Cycle of Holy Songs by Ned Rorem (Brandon Thibeault, tenor); “Wade in the Water,” arranged by Hogan (Tove Blum, soprano); and the “Battle Hymn of The Republic” by Julia Ward Howe (arranged by Peter Wilhousky).

This is a rich potpourri of American vocal music. If Copland and Gershwin are perhaps too familiar, Thompson, Floyd, Rorem and even Barber are nowhere near familiar enough.

Thompson (1899-1984) is considered a choral composer — perhaps the American choral composer of the last century — though he also wrote three fine symphonies, which place him very high in the ranks of American symphonists. His “Alleluia,” commissioned in 1940 by Serge Koussevitzky and the trustees of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for the opening of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, is far and away his most popular work.

Floyd (born in 1926) is a Southerner and has devoted himself mostly to opera, often on Southern themes. The best-known of his operas is Susannah (1955), based on a story from the Apocrypha, translated into terms of contemporary, rural Tennessee, with a libretto in a Southern dialect.

Rorem (born in 1923) led a rather giddy and sybaritic life in his younger years. As he grew older, and his spectacular good looks faded, more attention was paid to his music and it was found to be quite good. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his Air Music Suite.

Tickets to the Concert Choir are $12 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors, and are available at the door or by calling 805.965.5935.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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