Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA choir concert celebrates Mendelssohn

February 24, 2009 - Sylvia Bierschenk

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Felix Mendelssohn's birth, the Choral Union and Women's Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a joint concert featuring Mendelssohn's choral works at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, in Cole Concert Hall.

"Mendelssohn stood at the forefront of German music during the 1830s and 1840s and ranks with the greatest of nineteenth century composers," said David Howard, director of both choirs.

"The highlight of the program will be the Choral Union's performance of Mendelssohn's 'Elijah, Op. 70, Part 1, Scene 3,' with guest baritone Scott LaGraff, SFA assistant professor of voice," Howard continued. "Within this oratorio based on 1 Kings 18, Elijah (portrayed by Dr. LaGraff) confronts the 450 prophets of Baal and Jezebel's 400 prophets of the groves (portrayed by the choir)."

The Women's Choir will also present the first song of Mendelssohn's "Drei Volkslieder,"
a setting of a text by Johann Philipp Kaufmann which treats a lover's separation from a feminine point of view.

Also included on the program are two sacred songs by Orlande De Lassus and György Orbán, guest conducted by Jennifer Lewis, Kingwood graduate student.

The two choirs will close the concert with Paul Halley's "Freedom Trilogy," which combines the American folk hymn "Amazing Grace," the third century "Kyrie" from "Missa de Angelis," and the South African songs "Halaluya" "Pelo tsa rona" and "Sivahamba."

The concert is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Dr. on the SFA campus.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2 for students. For tickets or more information, please visit www.sfasu.edu/finearts or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.