(Posted April 24, 2017)

The Juniata College Choral Union performs at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 25, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.
The Juniata College Choral Union performs at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 25, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College Choral Union will perform its spring concert at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 25, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts on the Juniata campus.

            The concert is free and open to the public. The Choral Union is directed by Russell Shelley, Elma Stine Heckler Professor of Music.

            The concert will open with “Down by the Sally Gardens,” an Irish folk song arranged by David Lantz III. Juniata senior Phoebe Harnish, from Christiana, Pa., will perform on this song as well. Next, the selection “Londonderry Air,” which is the inspiration for the Irish classic, “Danny Boy,” will showcase the arrangement by Bob Chilcott.

            The international theme of the concert will continue as the ensemble sings “Ay, Ay, Ay, O Pag-ibig,” in Tagalog, the traditional language of the Philippines.

            The theme of the concert is “Dreamers,” and the selection “All People Dream,” by Jonathan Adams, a contemporary American choral music composer, sets the stage for the next selection, “Trilogy of Dreams.” The trilogy, by Rollo Dilworth, sets three poems by African-American poet Langston Hughes to music: “I Dream a World,” “The Dream Keeper,” and “Dreams.”

            The ensemble returns to an international flavor with the next song. “Duermete Mi Corazon (Bolivian Lullaby),” arranged by Judith Harrington, known for her “songs of the world” compositions. “Cantaremos,” arranged by Ramon Noble, is the next selection, followed by “Al Shlosha D’varim (Pirkei Avot),” which is a lyrical adaptation of the Pirkei Avot, or Jewish morality laws. The text translated means “the world is sustained by three things, by truth, by justice, and by peace.” Tenor Micah McConnell, a junior from Patton, Pa., will sing a solo on this song.

            The next song, “Bashana Haba’ah,” is written by Nurit Hirsch. Hirsch is one of Israel’s most prolific composers and the title translates as “Next Year.” “Zum Gali, Gali,” arranged by Richard Pisano, sets a traditional Israeli folk tune for a large choir.  The final Israeli song, “Shalom Chaverim,” arranged by Catherine Delanoy, is a Hebrew chant that translates as “go in peace.”

            The international music transitions to African-influenced music as the ensemble sings “Ise Oluwa,” a traditional Nigerian song arranged by Ron Kean. Two Juniata students, Annemarie Sciarra, a junior from Swarthmore, Pa., and Bethany Slaughter, a senior from Mt. Airy, Md., will play percussion instruments.

            The final selection of the concert will be “Thula Klizeo,” written by Joseph Shabalala, the founder of the South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, famed for collaborating with Paul Simon on his “Graceland” album.

With a membership composed of students, faculty, staff and community members from as far away as Bedford, Choral Union meets once a week for 75 minutes to study assigned repertoire and general singing concepts. As the only non-audition choir at Juniata, Choral Union provides a wide spectrum of educational experiences. From first-time singer to community members who have performed with some of the world's greatest conductors, the spirit of the ensemble is one of nurturing cooperation and mutual respect for the choral art.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.