Northwestern musical ensembles to present concert

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Northwestern musical ensembles to present concert

October 7, 2008

The Northwestern Oklahoma State University Concert Choir and University Singers will present a program titled “Songs of Faith” on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m., in Herod Hall Auditorium.

Under the direction of Dr. Stephen Kingsbury, Northwestern director of choral and vocal studies, “Songs of Faith” presents songs of worship from a variety of faith traditions. Works will include the coronation anthem “Zadok the Priest,” by George Frideric Handel; Dominick Argento’s “Gloria,” from his opera The Masque of Angels; the traditional Hebrew melody “Shalom Rav,” arranged by Simon Sargon; John Rutter’s “Te Deum,” and the gospel anthem “Praise His Holy Name,” arranged by Keith Hampton.

Kingsbury said the program also will feature the “Missa Brevis” by contemporary Scottish composer James MacMillan. This “short mass” is one of several mass settings that the composer has written over his career. Cast in five movements, MacMillan originally composed the work in 1977 at the age of 17 when he was still a student at Cumnock Academy. Although the Sanctus was performed in that year by the Academy’s Senior Chamber Choir, it wasn’t performed in its entirety or published until 2007.

For the published version of the mass, which has just recently become available, MacMillan revised slightly the Kyrie and Sanctus. “This beautiful and extremely well-crafted piece of music clearly shows the cross fertilization of MacMillan’s youthful influences - the polyphony of composers such as Palestrina, and Byrd, and 20th century composers such as Britten,” Kingsbury said.
Dr. Ling-Yu Kan, assistant professor of piano will join the University Singers and the Northwestern Concert Choir during this performance.

Northwestern’s University Singers is an elite small vocal ensemble consisting of 16-20 of Northwestern’s best singers. The University Singers specialize in a wide range of vocal chamber music from all historical periods. Membership in this select group is by audition. Participation in University Chorale is a co-requisite.

The Northwestern Concert Choir is a large mixed chorus, which performs a varied selection of sacred and secular choral literature from all historical periods. Membership in the Chorale is open to any student regardless of major, but is by audition only.

To learn more about Northwestern’s music program, contact Kingsbury at or (580) 327-8692.