Northwestern music department presents fall showcase, recital
Thursday, September 21, 2023
As part of Raider Nation Celebration, the Northwestern College music department will present a fall music showcase on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. in Christ Chapel. The showcase will feature music from the A cappella Choir, Heritage Singers, Women’s Choir, Orchestra and Symphonic Band, and is free and open to the public.
The A cappella Choir will perform four selections ranging from the ancient hymn “Creator Alme Siderum” to “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye,” an Irish folk song about a young woman who finds her lover unrecognizable after he returns from battle. A highlight of the Heritage Singers’ repertoire is the “William Tell Overture,” one of Rossini’s most beloved overtures transcribed from orchestra for unaccompanied singers.
Stephen Hatfield’s “La Lluvia (The Rain)” will be one of two featured selections by the Women’s Choir, using only a handful of syllables to convey the sounds of rain in the Andes Mountains. The choir’s second piece, “I’ll Never Study” by Paul David Thomas, is based on a satirical poem that tells the story of a woman who found liberation in her study of algebra despite 19th century warnings that women who studied mathematics posed a threat to society.
The Symphonic Band will take the stage with Eric Whitacre’s “October,” a nod to autumn’s beauty through simple, pastoral melodies and lush harmonies. Jan Van der Roost’s “Puszta: Four Gipsy Dances” is named for a vast prairie in Hungary where the Roma people often roam with their wild horses. Each of the four movements is bright and colorful, playing to the flamboyant moods of the nomadic Roma of eastern Hungary.
Other highlights include performances by senior Evan Gutzmer (baritone), winner of the Rowenhorst Vocal Scholarship, and junior Meredith Sundberg (clarinet), winner of the Ritsema Instrumental Scholarship. Cindy Moeller, adjunct instructor in music, will also sing “Ain’t It a Pretty Night” from Carlisle Floyd’s opera “Susannah.”
The public is also invited to a joint concert of Northwestern music professor Dr. Juyeon Kang (piano) and opera singer Melody Wilson (mezzo-soprano) on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel. The program highlights a variety of languages and musical styles, including compositions by Spanish composer Xavier Montsalvatge, German composer Richard Strauss, Italian composer Pietro Mascagni and French composers Georges Bizet and Camille Saint-Saëns.
“One of the goals of this event is to promote Northwestern’s vision for diversity,” says Kang. “We embody shalom, anticipating a restored creation where people from every nation, tribe and language worship God and live in harmony.”
Melody Wilson is known internationally as a concert soloist and recitalist. She has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis and State Opera Budapest and appeared with San Francisco Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Slovak State Philharmonic and Vienna’s Consortium Musicum, among many others. She holds degrees in music and Spanish from the University of Delaware and a Master of Music degree and artist diploma from the University of Michigan.
Tickets for the recital are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Children 5 years old and younger are admitted free, as well as Northwestern faculty and staff who present ID at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit orangecityarts.org/inspire_events/melody-wilson/.
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Northwestern’s music department has a tradition of dynamic performances, outstanding faculty and standout educational experiences in an environment committed to glorifying God. Students can audition for one or more of 10 ensembles, having the opportunity to tour around the world and perform in the award-winning Christ Chapel.