CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
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Release: Oct. 13, 2000
University Choir to survey the choral spectrum with concert Oct. 27
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- In just four sets, the University Choir from the University
of Iowa School of Music will cover a broad spectrum of choral music, crossing
historical periods and musical styles, when they perform a free concert at
8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Conductor of the performance will be Timothy Stalter, director of choral
activities at the UI School of Music.
University Choir is a select, advanced choir of approximately 50 singers,
primarily undergraduate students. Each semester they present at least one
formal concert on campus, in addition to performing a major choral work with
other singing groups from the UI School of Music and the University Symphony.
The Oct. 27 program will begin with sacred music of the Renaissance and,
touching upon some of the musical high points of the intervening centuries,
end with contemporary arrangements of spirituals.
"I wanted the choir to have the opportunity to intellectually encounter
music from several different historical periods, and at the same time to grapple
vocally with the issues of articulation, phrasing and musical gesture that
arise from different styles of music," Stalter said. "We have spent
a great amount of time working with the relationship among musical, physical
and textual gestures."
The first set, or group of pieces, on the concert will feature three motets
from the 16th and 17th centuries. Considered one of the great periods of musical
creativity in European history, the Renaissance was a period of intense activity
and great refinement in the composition of choral music written for the church.
The University Choir will perform standards of the Renaissance choral repertoire
-- "Exsultate Deo" by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and "Hosanna
to the Son of David" by Orlando Gibbons -- and a lesser known work --
"Nolo mortem peccatoris" by Thomas Morley.
Skipping ahead more than 100 years, the second set will comprise one piece,
the Cantata No. 78, "Jesu, der du meine Seele" by J.S. Bach. Another
of the peaks in the history of European music, Bachs choral music presents
special challenges to singers because of the complexity of the melodic lines
and the independence of the individual voice parts.
The third set comes from the mid-20th century, featuring "Reincarnations"
by American composer Samuel Barber. The music comprises settings of three
poems by James Stephens that were re-workings of songs from a collection of
Irish poems by Antoine Raftery. A folk poet and traveling fiddler in the early
19th century, Raftery was blinded by smallpox in his youth.
The final set comprises three spirituals, representing one of the most significant
African-American contributions to the history of choral music: "Live-a-humble,"
arranged by Peter Bagley, director of choral activities at the University
of Connecticut at Storrs; "Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child,"
arranged by Robert Fountain, former choral director at the University of Wisconsin
at Madison; and "Elijah Rock," arranged by Moses Hogan, who represents
a new generation of spiritual arrangers.
Stalter joined the UI faculty as director of choral activities in 1999.
He directs Kantorei, the premier choral ensemble of the School of Music, teaches
graduate conducting courses, and administers the graduate program in choral
conducting. He has research interests in teaching conducting to undergraduate
and graduate students and historical music performance practices. An active
member of the American Choral Directors Association, he frequently presents
clinics and workshops in choral conducting around the United States.
In addition to conducting and teaching choral music, Stalter is active as
a tenor soloist in the United States and abroad. A specialist in the music
of the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods, he is known for his performances
as the Evangelist in the Passions of J.S. Bach and Heinrich Schuetz. He has
appeared as tenor soloist with the Newfoundland Symphony, the North Carolina
Symphony, the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in France, the Robert Shaw Chamber
Choir in Atlanta, the Classical Music Seminar and Festival in Eisenstadt,
Austria, and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. He has recorded as tenor
soloist with conductor Robert Shaw on two compact discs released on the Telarc
Prior to coming to the UI, Stalter was on the faculty of the University
of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Goshen
College in Indiana. He received a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin,
where he studied with renowned choral conductor Robert Fountain, and a masters
from the University of Illinois, where he studied with Don Moses, who was
UI director of choral activities in the 1980s.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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