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For Spring 2016, our focus will be on the ChoralFest 2016 Concert on Friday, April 15. The featured work is Requiem by Gabriel Fauré, which will be performed by the combined choirs of Cardinal Singers and College Chorale. Featured soloists are Ayrice Wilson, soprano (Pie Jesu) and Darik Knutsen, baritone (Libera me). We will be performing the original chamber version of this wonderful work, scored for violas, cellos, bass, harp, French horns and pipe organ. Our performance will be at the United Methodist Church at 127 Beekman St., Plattsburgh, which has the most beautiful pipe organ in Plattsburgh.
Cardinal Singers typically includes approximately 15-24 mixed voices and the group performs a range of choral styles. Recent contemporary works have included pieces by Charles Ives, arrangements of pop tunes, as well as jazz tunes. The group also enjoys singing more traditional choral repertoire, including English and Italian madrigals, and larger works, such as Haydn's Te Deum, Schubert's Mass in G, Vivaldi's Magnificat, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Orff's Carmina Burana, Bach Cantatas #106 and #23, Mozart's Vespers solennes de confessore, and the Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes. In Spring 2004, Cardinal Singers joined with Champlain Valley Oratorio Society and Choral Union to perform Brahms' A German Requiem.
Spring 2016 is the last semester in which Cardinal Singers will be offered for the time being. In Fall 2016, we will inaugurate a premiere choral ensemble: MUS391 Concert Choir. It will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 2 - 3:15 p.m. in MFA 300. The course may be repeated for as long as you are here on campus--in fact, I hope you do! You many accrue up to eight credits in MUS391.
Our Previous Fall Choral Concerts
College Chorale and Cardinal Singers have presented a Fall Choral Concert. Most recently, we performed a fully staged version of Amahl and the Night Visitors (an opera in one act by American composer Gian Carlo Menotti). J. Miano was music director. Stage director was Timothy Morningstar. The entire cast came from our combined choruses. We offered a performance for local school-aged children and presented a performance to the general public. In 2013, the Fall Concert featured the combined choirs in Brahms's Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 52, accompanied by 4-hand piano. In Fall 2012, the combined choirs performed Vivaldi's Magnificat with student soloists.
Fall 2015 was an unusual semester in that Cardinal Singers did not rehearse as its conventional chamber choir. Instead, its rehearsal time slot was the home of the full cast of Oklahoma!, the co-production of the departments of music and theatre. The large Rodgers and Hammerstein chorus utilized many of our strongest choral singers combined with outstanding theatre students cast in the show's ensemble.
Our Previous ChoralFest Concerts
Each spring the College Chorale and Cardinal Singers have presented the annual ChoralFest Concert. These projects are usually large and require orchestral accompaniment. This spring 2015 our feature work was Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, for chorus and full orchestra. Each choir will also perform separate choral pieces to highlight the choirs. For ChoralFest 2014 we performed the sublime Mass in G (Schubert) and three movements from Mozart's Vesperae solennes de confessore, K339. Both works are written for chorus, soloists, and orchestra. ChoralFest 2013 featured the combined choirs in Haydn's sparkling Te Deum for chorus and orchestra, as well as several a cappella choral pieces.
ChoralFest 2012 celebrated the vocal and choral splendor of American music theatre. The combined talent of College Chorale and Cardinal Singers presented a concert version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel. All soloists and actors were drawn from the two ensembles.
ChoralFest 2011 featured Mozart's Regina Coeli for chorus and soloists, with a chamber orchestra. Chorale also sang pieces alone, including Keith Hampton's gospel arrangement of Sing Hallelujah! and a contemporary arrangement of Gershwin's Nice Work If You Can Get It. The featured work for April 2010 was Benjamin Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, written for chorus, soloists and organ. College Chorale and Cardinal Singers merged ensembles to sing this extraordinary piece. Because of the organ demands of Britten's work, we presented our ChoralFest Concert off campus at the United Methodist Church on Beekman Street, Plattsburgh, NY. The church houses a beautiful pipe organ.
ChoralFest 2010 also linked with the Choral Union/Champlain Valley Voices Concert to create a week-long choral-vocal project. Guest artist Kristine Ciesinski (soprano on international operatic and concert stages) was in residence from April 18-24. Ms. Ciesinski performed the role of Dido in the Choral Union/CVV concert-version performance of Purcell's Baroque opera, Dido and Aeneas, on April 24. Leading up to that performance, Ms. Ciesinski worked extensively with students in public and private settings and to present two public events.
Choral and Vocal Program of the Department of Music presented "In Conversation with Kristine Ciesinski: A Classical Singer's Life and Art." In a informal interview setting, Ms. Ciesinski spoke about building a singing career, specifically reflecting on her own career as a singing actress on the operatic and concert stages. DVD and audio clips from several of her finest performances will be screened. There was a Q&A session, followed by a reception.
Ms. Ciesinski worked extensively with other aspects of our choral-vocal program. She lead vocal clinics with College Chorale and Cardinal Singers during the ChoralFest week. These vocal clinic sessions were open to the public.
Ms. Ciesinski presented a public
voice masterclass with four applied voice students selected from our
vocal program. Final selection for participation in the masterclass
was made by the voice faculty.
Also featured on the masterclass were two young artists from The Eastman School of Music MM in vocal performance program, who both appeared with our Plattsburgh singers in roles in the CVV/Choral Union performance of Dido and Aeneas.
During the week, Ms. Ciesinski coached SUNY voice students who were singing solo roles in Dido and Aeneas. Roles were assigned by audition.
Cardinal Singers presented a special Valentine Concert 2009 in the Angell College Center Ballroom. The audience enjoyed a mixture of light songs, comic sketches and a little bit of kitch. Assisted by SUNY Plattsburgh's Mambo Combo, this was a fun evening for everyone. Light snacks and juices and sodas were served at the non-alcoholic Chartwells bar.
Frequently performing for special college functions, Cardinal Singers has contributed to such events as December and May graduation ceremonies, September 11th Memorial service, and the Arts & Science Academic Awards ceremony each May. Off campus, the group performs for events during the community 's annual September festivities commemorating the historic Battle of Plattsburgh. In September, 2014, they performed with the Navy Band Northeast and similarly in Fall 2007.
Cardinal Singers meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 - 3:15 p.m. in Myers Fine Arts Building, Room 324. Until further notice, Spring 2016 is the last semester in which you will find the group listed in the Master Schedule as MUS 397A (one credit). Beginning in Fall 2016, we will be offering a new choral ensemble for our college community: MUS391 Concert Choir, which will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 - 3:15 p.m. This course may be repeated for up to eight credits.
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