Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA's Choral Union, Women's Choir to present 'From Heaven to Earth'

October 10, 2014 - Robbie Goodrich

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Choral Union and Women's Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present "From Heaven to Earth" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in Cole Concert Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

The program includes selections that pertain to the subjects of Heaven or Earth or both, according to Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities at SFA and the choirs' director.

Joining the Choral Union in performing a selection from Joseph Haydn's "Creation" will be SFA voice faculty members Debbie Berry, Jamie Dahman and Chris Turner. Staci Spring, bassoon instructor, will also join the Women's Choir to play continuo on a selection from "Christ lag in Todesbanden" by J.S. Bach.

"We will also be joined by student instrumental majors on works by Heinrich Schütz, Ron Nelson and Craig Hella Johnson," Fish said.

Among the works the Women's Choir will perform are "Hoj, Hura Hoj," which is a Moravian mountain song in Czechoslovakian arranged by Otmar Macha,

"Macha employs many special effects to emulate the sounds of echoes bouncing off the mountains," Fish explained.

The choir will also perform "Tundra" by Ola Gjeilo and "Nigra Sum" by Pablo Casals.

"This motet setting, by the famous cellist Casals, is a staple in the women's chorus repertoire," Fish said. "Casals uses simple, tonal harmonies to create a beautiful lyrical composition that is loved by choirs and audiences alike."

The Choral Union will perform "Herr, wenn ich nur dich habe" from "Musikalische Exequien" by Schütz. "Musikalische Exequien," literally translated is "Funeral Music," and is a product of the composer's "minimalist" period, where he adapted his music to suit his meager resources during the Thirty Years War, according to Fish.

"Ave Maria" by Igor Stravinsky, "Spaseniye sodelal" by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov and "Earth Song" by Frank Ticheli will also be performed.

"'Earth Song' delivers a poignant message of music and singing, serving as our refuge in these tumultuous times of world unrest," Fish explained. "It is a song of hope for a peaceful future."

The concert, which is a joint presentation of the College of Fine Arts and School of Music, will also include graduate student Marissa Maddoux conducting "Lift Thine Eyes" from Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.