The University of Southern Mississippi's premier touring choir, the
Southern Chorale, will join the university's Concert Choir, the Southern
Miss Gulf Coast Civic Chorale, and the Hattiesburg Choral Union to
present an evening of exciting and high-powered chorale literature
at 7:30 p.m. May 7 at Parkway Heights United Methodist Church in Hattiesburg.
will feature Norman Dello Joio's "To Saint Cecilia" and
John Rutter's "Gloria," both of which utilize a brass
ensemble. Gregory Fuller, director of choral activities at Southern
Miss, and Joanne Edwards, conductor of the Southern Miss Gulf Coast
Civic Chorale, will conduct the joined choirs.
a wonderful occasion for us to join the forces of several choral
ensembles from both Southern Miss campuses," Edwards said.
"There is a clearly a desire to have more vocal opportunities
from Southern Miss available in both areas."
will open with the Gulf Coast Civic Chorale performing Johannes
Brahms' "The May Night," an arrangement of "Give
Me Jesus" by Larry Fleming, and Joseph Martin's "The Awakening."
segment of the program features the first piece by the Southern
Chorale and Concert Choir with a brass ensemble in their performance
of Dello Joio's "To Saint Cecilia."
of 'To Saint Cecilia' is taken from an ode written by John Dryden
in 1687 called 'A Song for St. Cecilia's Day,'" Fuller said.
"He is known simply as the greatest writer of the Reformation,
and he eloquently combined cunning metaphor and symmetry into a
lyric so musical it seems to need no setting."
found Dryden's text attractive. With references to the "sacred
organ" and "the trumpets' loud clangor," the text
lends itself to the grand instrumental sounds of organ and brass.
combining the elements of 19th- and 20th-century compositional techniques,
Dello Joio created a work for choir and brass that is both substantial
and accessible," Fuller said.
Dello Joio piece, the Southern Chorale will perform two sets of
pieces, the first being new settings by Howard Helvey written for
the Madison (Wisconsin) Chamber Choir. The group will then perform
two pieces from Leonard Bernstein's "Candide."
Miss Gulf Coast Civic Chorus and the Hattiesburg Choral Union will
close this unique concert with John Rutter's "Gloria."
This combined choir will feature more than 140 singers.
Born in 1945,
Rutter has become one of today's most popular composers in the United
States and Europe. His compositions range from choral to instrumental,
modern to chant-like. Many scholars credit him with successfully
composing in both the popular and high-art genres.
'Gloria' is scored for chorus, brass, percussion, and organ,"
Fuller explained. "The text comes from a part of the Latin
Mass known as the 'Ordinary.' Although the text of this piece is
sacred, Rutter himself states that his 'Gloria' is not a sacred
work--it is a concert piece to be performed in any venue."
A member of
the conducting faculty in the School of Music at Southern Miss,
Fuller teaches and advises undergraduate and graduate students.
He has conducted significant performances throughout his career,
including appearances at both national MENC (the National Association
for Music Education) and the American Choral Directors Association
presented an all-American a cappella program at the annual meeting
of the Salisbury Plain Church Musicians and Organists at Salisbury
Cathedral in England. Fuller is an alumnus of Oklahoma Baptist University
and completed his graduate study at the University of Missouri.
as chair for community choirs in the southern division of ACDA and
is a past president of both the Mississippi Music Educators and
the Mississippi chapter of ACDA. Edwards earned both her bachelor
and master of music education from Southern Miss.
will be presented first at the First Baptist Church in Gulfport
at 7 p.m. May 6. Both concerts are free of charge. For more information,
contact the Southern Miss Choral Activities office at (601) 266-4092.