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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 Jonathan Stinson, 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 157 Beekman St., Plattsburgh, which has the most beautiful pipe organ in Plattsburgh.
Spring 2016 is the last semester in which College Chorale 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.
College Chorale is a large mixed chorus that performs a wide spectrum of choral music, including classical pieces from the Renaissance through the 20th century, spirituals, and contemporary popular arrangements. There is no audition required to sing in College Chorale. You may register for MUS 391A (1 credit) during each registration period. The course may be repeated for up to six credits. However, as long as you are here on campus, you are welcome to continue singing with us--in fact, I hope you do! However, any additional credits beyond six credits in MUS391 will not count toward your total credits earned, your GPA, or your upper-level credit tally.
Each spring the College Chorale and Cardinal Singers present the annual ChoralFest Concert. These projects are usually large and require orchestral accompaniment. This spring our feature work will be the Faure Requiem, for chorus, soloists and orchestra. It is a fabulous work that every chorister is happy to sing at least once in a lifetime.
More recent ChoralFest programs have included Leonard Bernstein's spectacular Chichester Psalms, for chorus and full orchestra, the sublime Mass in G (Schubert), Mozart's Vesperae solennes de confessore, K339, and Haydn's sparkling Te Deum for chorus and orchestra, as well as a cappella choral pieces.
Normally, College Chorale and Cardinal Singers come together to present a Fall Choral Concert. The two choirs perform separately and also on combine choir pieces. This past Fall 2015, College Chorale presented the Fall Choral Concert on their own, performing a cappella pieces, as well as pieces for chorus, piano, electric bass and drums. In Fall 2014, Chorale and Cardinal Singers performed a fully staged version of Amahl and the Night Visitors (an opera in one act by American composer Gian Carlo Menotti). 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.
Looking further back in our choral archives:
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.
Our 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.
College Chorale meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00-3:15 p.m. in Myers Fine Arts Building, Room 300. This course may be repeated for up to eight credits.
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