81-Voice Lebanon Valley College Concert Choir To Perform at Christ Lutheran, 69 Main St., Hellertown

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 Hellertown-Lower Saucon  See map

Join us for a free concert event entitled, "With Cheerful Voice." Christ Lutheran Church in Hellertown will be the first site for the 77th Annual Spring Tour of the Lebanon Valley College Concert Choir on Thursday, March 21, at 7 PM. A dessert reception will follow in the social hall. There is no admission charge, although a free-will offering will support the churches’ music ministry.

This year’s program is entitled With Cheerful Voice, which is a reference to Louis Bourgeois’ 1551 setting of the Old One Hundredth, All People That On Earth Do Dwell, the anthem that will open most of our performances. It introduces a varied program of choral works representing many types of music from several countries around the world.

Other works include a Missa Brevis Eclectica, which includes the Kyrie movement from Palestrina’s Missa Brevis (1570) and a setting of the Gloria movement written 500 years later in 1970 by contemporary Swedish composer, Lars Edlund: from the Renaissance to the Scandinavian avant-garde, complete with quarter tone singing and tone clusters.

Continuing the contemporary theme, the choir will perform an exquisite setting of Lux Aeterna by the late Edwin Fissinger, scored for 8-part choir, soprano and baritone soloists. They will also perform Eric Whitacre’s Lux Aurumque.

We celebrate the 100th anniversary of British composer, Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), by including his Wolcum Yole and This Little Babe from his Ceremony of Carols, as well as Britten’s setting of Psalm 100, Jubilate Deo in C for organ and choir. John Rutter’s setting of Psalm 81, Choral Fanfare is also featured.

At the core of the program are four related works: a song composed by Blake Henson for the Westminster Choir, a setting of Robert Herrick’s My Flight for Heaven, and another Henson setting composed for the 2010 Ohio All-State Choir, And Dream Awhile, which is based on the poem The Sleeping Beauty by Samuel Rogers. Between the Henson settings, the choir will perform Morten Lauridsen’s Sure On This Shining Night and conclude the quartet with Shawn Kirchner’s setting of the traditional Appalachian song, Bright Morning Stars for choir and baritone soloist.

Audiences will hear Kirchner’s arrangement of the Kenyan folk song, Wana Baraka, Jester Hairston’s TTBB arrangement of the African-American Spiritual, Poor Man Lazrus, and Susan Brumfield’s setting for women’s choir of the Acadian folk song, La Violette. The program will conclude with Moses Hogan’s traditional African-American spiritual arrangement, I Can Tell the World, and the Concert Choir’s traditional benediction, The Lord Bless You and Keep You by Peter Lutkin. The 20-voice select LVC Chamber Choir will also contribute at least one selection at the concert.

Mark Mecham, chair of the department of music and Carmean Professor of Music, directs the 81-voice Lebanon Valley College Concert Choir.

Thursday, March 21, 2013, 7 p.m.

Christ Lutheran Church

69 Main Street

Hellertown, Pa. 18055

[Stephen Wysocki ’84, host]

About the LVC Concert Choir

The Lebanon Valley College Concert Choir has toured each year, primarily in the Northeast, since 1936. In addition, the choir has been heard on more than 30 NBC national radio broadcasts including National Radio Pulpit and Great Choirs in America. The choir has performed with the Harrisburg Symphony orchestra and holds a standing invitation to appear at the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., and the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, New York City. Other non-tour appearances have included the Lighting of the National Christmas Tree, the Festival of Lights at the Washington, D.C. Temple Visitor’s Center, performing at the General Conference of the United Methodist Church, and appearances before the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association and the Music Educators National Conference Eastern Division Convention in Washington, D.C. The choir has toured internationally to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (1973), Great Britain (1999), Italy (2001), Central Europe: the Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary (2007), and Scandinavia: Norway and Denmark (May 2011). Plans are underway for an LVC Sesquicentennial Choir Tour to New Zealand in December 2016-January 2017.

About Mark Mecham

Mark Mecham has been Chairman of the Department of Music at Lebanon Valley College since 1990. He was named the D. Clark and Edna Carmean Distinguished Professor of Music, and received the Thomas Rhys Vickroy Distinguished Teaching Award in 1998. As Director of Choral Activities he conducts the LVC Concert and Chamber Choirs. In August 1992, he appeared as guest conductor of the Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and from 1993-2002 served as the musical director of the Lebanon County Choral Society. At the May 2012 commencement, the Lebanon Valley College Student Government honored Mecham as Educator of the Year.

Professor Mecham graduated from the University of Utah with degrees in music education and choral conducting. He completed his Doctorate in Musical Arts in Choral Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Mecham has taught at Southern Utah University, the University of Texas at Tyler, and the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota. Active in the American Choral Directors Association, he was Utah State President, 1989-90, and president-elect in North Dakota, 1978-80, and served as the Repertoire and Standards Chair for College and University Choirs 1999-2001 for ACDAPA. He has conducted, adjudicated and given choral clinics in 19 states, the District of Columbia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Italy, Hungary, Denmark and Norway.


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