College community chorus sets 2018 season schedule

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College Community Chorus begins a new season preparing for the ensemble’s annual Thanksgiving concerts. This year’s theme is “A Song Arising.”
The chorus will depict the power of music in our lives with a number of works composed during the past twelve years. They include “Earth Song” by Frank Ticheli, “The Song Arising” by Frank Martin and “Alway Something Sings” by Dan Forrest.
The chorus will also sing “Vida Atrevida,” composed by Middlebury’s Sam Guarnaccia, in his dramatic new 2018 setting of Chilean songwriter Violeta Parra’s words, “Thank you, life, for giving me so much. You gave me laughter and you gave me tears. The two elements that make up my song, and your song, and everyone’s song, which is my very song.”
We will depict hope for the world around us in “Muusika” by Estonian composer Pärt Uusberg, and in Jake Runestad’s award-winning setting of “The Peace of Wild Things” by poet Wendell Berry. Ideas of reconciliation and peace come alive in Connor Koppins new setting of the poem “I Dream a World” by noted American author Langston Hughes.
The program will incorporate Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s very first and last choral pieces: a setting of Kyrie Eleison for choir and string quartet, and the final movement of his Requiem and bridge these two selections with “Illumination,” a prayerful Latin text originating from 17th-century Ireland, set by composer Michael McGlynn, arranger for the Celtic ensemble Anúna. Many other songs of celebration and thanksgiving are also part of this year’s repertoire.
Conductor Jeff Rehbach notes that this program offers singers the opportunity to explore a rich variety of styles of historic and present-day music. Rehbach begins his nineteenth consecutive season as director of the College Community Chorus, and Timothy Guiles returns as the choir’s virtuoso accompanist.
The choir welcomes all interested singers to join the ensemble during September. Participants should plan to attend at least one rehearsal each week. Numbering nearly 100 singers, the group welcomes without audition all singers who can follow a musical score. Its members travel from throughout the region to participate in this 150-year-old community tradition, hosted by Middlebury College.
Regular rehearsals take place on Tuesday and Sunday evenings from 7-8:30 p.m. in Mead Chapel, beginning Sept. 11. For additional information, check on the web at go.middlebury.edu/communitychorus or contact director Jeff Rehbach at [email protected] or 802-989-7355.

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