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44 voices, 2 shows

Illinois Wesleyan choir tour stopping in Sterling next month

Published: Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Photo submitted)
The Collegiate Choir from Illinois Wesleyan University will present two free concerts in Sterling on March 8.

STERLING – The Collegiate Choir from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington is bringing its 2013 spring concert tour to Sterling for two performances on March 8.

The first is at 2:10 p.m. at Sterling High School, 1608 Fourth Ave., and the second is at 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 410 2nd Ave.

The 44-voice choir is comprised of student musicians representing the School of Music and other areas of the university, including tenor Sean Leeds of Erie.

It is dedicated to the performance of the finest sacred and secular choral music of the past five centuries.

Students in the choir are selected by audition and maintain a rigorous rehearsal schedule in preparation for their concert tour and other engagements throughout the year.

The choir is under the direction of J. Scott Ferguson, the school’s director of choral activities.

The program will include literature from the Renaissance, Baroque, and contemporary eras. It will begin with three sacred compositions from the English Renaissance and Baroque eras by William Byrd, Henry Loosemore, and Henry Purcell.

Contrasting these works will follow three 20th century compositions. “Unruh der Zeit,” a relatively unknown work by Rudolph Mauersberger, will precede “Stránnoye Rozhdestvó vídevsche” by Georgy Sviridov, and “Song of Cherubim” by Krzysztof Penderecki.

To begin the second half of the program, the choir will perform “Five Flower Songs, Op. 47,” by Benjamin Britten.

The final section of the program consists of compositions by contemporary American and British composers, the texts of which include images of fire. “Hymn to the Creator of Light” by John Rutter will be followed by the 2012-2013 commissioned work, “Lösch mir die Augen aus”, by Andrew Rindfleisch. The program will conclude with the dramatic “Fire!” by John Orfe.

Admission to the concerts is free; donations will be accepted to help defray the choir’s travel costs.

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