Missouri University of Science and Technology choirs will present “Earth Day Celebration in Song” at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 22, in Leach Theater of Castleman Hall, 10th and Main streets in Rolla. The Missouri S&T Chamber and University Choirs will be joined by the Rolla Community Choir, the Rolla Children’s Choir, Men of Song and the Young Singers.
“It’s something we’ve done before with what was then called the Rolla Chamber Singers. Both Jeff (Sandquist) and I felt it was time to do a joint concert again,” says Lorie Francis, a lecturer in the arts, languages and philosophy department at Missouri S&T and its choir director. Sandquist directs the Rolla choirs. “We’ve enjoyed the rehearsals for the three joint pieces and are looking forward to hearing each other on the 22nd.”
Tickets are $5 for the public and free for Missouri S&T students and youth age 18 and younger. Tickets are available between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before the performance in the Leach Theatre Box Office, located in the located in the vestibule inside the main entrance to Leach Theatre of Castleman Hall, facing 10th Street.
All groups will join for two pieces by composer Eric Whitacre, Cloudburst and Water Night, both featuring the poetry of Octavio Paz. Cloudburst will feature Francis as conductor and members of the S&T percussion section. Water Night was the featured piece on Whitacre’s Virtual Choir this year, where individual videos of more than 3,000 singers from around the world were combined into a single video.
The third piece for the group will be Dark Night of the Soul, by the young composer Ola Gjeilo. Based on the poem of the same name by St. John of the Cross, it features piano and a string quartet and was commissioned in memory of Norman Luboff, founder of one of America’s leading choral groups.
Each choir will showcase its individual talents. The Rolla Community Choir will perform Kasar Mie La Gaji (The Earth is Tired), by Venezuelan Alberto Grau. Missouri S&T choirs will follow with The Wheel That Moves the Sun and Stars, written by Eric William Barnum with text from Dante Alighieri’s Paridiso, and “Ce Grand Matin,” by Emile Desamours of Haiti. Men of Song will perform Crossing the Bar, by Gwynneth Walker, and the Young Singers will present Rain Dance, by Berta and Sonja Poorman. The Rolla Community Children’s Choir will sing a Brant Adams piece, Exsultate Justi in Domino.
The Rolla Choral Arts Society groups are directed by Sandquist and accompanied by Kathy Mazzeo. The Young Singers are conducted by Jane Tummons and accompanied by Rebecca Grow.
Missouri S&T choirs are conducted by Francis and accompanied by student Jarrad Kaiser. The University Choir is a non-auditioned group open to students, faculty, staff and community members. The Chamber Choir is a small, auditioned group that focuses on a cappella music.
For more information, contact the Missouri S&T performing arts office at 573-341-4185.