CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Kantorei opens 1997-98 choral concert series Oct. 19
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Kantorei, the premiere vocal ensemble at the University
of Iowa School of Music, will open the 1997-98 season of free choral concerts
on the UI campus at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, in Clapp Recital Hall.
The performance will feature both Renaissance and modern madrigals,
a preview of events to come later in the semester, and a musical depiction
of natural events. William Hatcher, director of choral activities at the
UI, will conduct the concert, which will feature a number of student soloists.
The earlier madrigals are by Luca Marenzio and Claudio Monteverdi, two
of the masters of the late 16th and early 17th century. Contrasted with
those classic Renaissance madrigals are the "Fire Songs" by contemporary
American composer Morten Lauridsen, settings of Italian renaissance poems
that could have been used for madrigals in the 16th century.
The preview on the concert will be portions of Handel's dramatic ode
"L'Allegro, Il Pensieroso ed il Moderato," featuring soloists
Thea Engelson, Margaret Lanning, and Yatsi Leung, sopranos; and Dirk Garner,
Handel's ode is a setting in English of poetry by John Milton concerning
the outlooks of three contrasting personalities -- one who is cheerful
("L'Allegro"), one who is morose and one who is moderate. Although
it is not performed as often as "Messiah" and other sacred works
by Handel, it is considered one of his major choral works.
These excerpts are a preview of a performance of a more extended portion
of the ode that will be presented by Kantorei and the University Chamber
Orchestra at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in Clapp Recital Hall as part of
a lecture/concert by noted Baroque scholar, conductor and performance specialist
For the performance of "L'Allegro," Kantorei assistant conductor
David Shaler will play the piano accompaniment, and UI undergraduate Thomas
Drury will play organ.
The third featured work on the program will be "Cloudburst"
by the young American composer Eric Whitacre. A musical setting of a natural
cloudburst based on the poetry of Latin American poet Octavio Paz, Whitacre's
score comes complete with sound effects and unusual instruments to achieve
its extra-musical effects. Soloists will be Leanne Foust, soprano, Daniel
Afonso, baritone, and speaker Maria Delgado.
Other works on the program will include Mendelssohn's "Warum toben
die Heiden?" (Psalm 2: "Why do the heathen rage?") and an
arrangement of "MacPherson's Farewell," featuring soloists Gary
Haase, bass; Daniel Afonso, recorder; and UI School of Music faculty member
Darlene Lawrence, piano.
A select ensemble of 30 singers, Kantorei consists primarily of graduate
students in choral conducting or voice. The group tours extensively, performing
throughout Iowa and across the Midwest, and by invitation at choral festivals
around the world. Recently Kantorei was chosen to perform a concert in
Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis for a convention of the American Choral Directors
In the fall of 1996, Kantorei participated in an International Choral
Competition in Tolosa, Spain. Prior to that honor, Kantorei was one of
only five choirs chosen to participate in the 1994 World Choral Festival
in Seoul, South Korea, where they presented concerts over an eight-day
In 1990 Kantorei performed the Mozart "Requiem" with the St.
Petersburg Philharmonic and other orchestras in the former Soviet Union,
and also gave concerts in Russia, Estonia and Finland. Kantorei has also
performed for regional and national conventions of the ACDA in 1992 and
Hatcher has served as director of choral activities at the UI School
of Music since 1988. He directs the graduate choral conducting program,
conducts choral ensembles in the School of Music and frequently appears
as music director of productions by the UI Opera Theater.
He was national president of the ACDA 1991-93, and serves as chair of
the ACDA Endowment Trust. Prior to coming to Iowa he taught at UCLA, the
University of Washington and Pasadena City College.
Hatcher's concert tours have included Europe, Greece, the British Isles,
Canada, Hawaii and the western United States. Hatcher was also coordinator
and assistant director of the 1000-voice Olympic Honor Chorus, which sang
for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Games in Los
Angeles, an event telecast to more than two billion people worldwide.
Hatcher has published materials on choral skills and choral arrangements,
and he appears frequently as a choral clinician and festival choir director.
Lawrence has accompanied many prominent California artists and has served
as accompanist for the Oregon Bach Festival with noted conductor Helmuth
Rilling. She was selected to accompany the choir for the 1984 Summer Olympic
Games in Los Angeles.
In addition to her work as an accompanist, she is a published composer/arranger,
and she has worked as a studio singer in film, television and the recording
industry. Since 1989 she has been on the faculty of the UI School of Music,
where she teaches song literature and is coach/accompanist in the voice
and opera areas.