Stephen F. Austin State University

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Hudson Middle School Choir to perform with SFA vocal ensembles

October 14, 2016 - Robbie Goodrich
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Choral Union and Women's Choir at Stephen F. Austin State University will present "Voice of the Children," featuring the Hudson Middle School Choir, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

Highlights of the program will be performances of John Rutter's "Mass of the Children," featuring the Stone Fort Wind Quintet, and Benjamin Britten's "Ceremony of Carols," featuring SFA harpist Emily Mitchell. The program title was chosen because of these two compositions, according to Dr. Tod Fish, associate professor of voice and the choirs' director.

Text for "A Ceremony of Carols" is taken from a collection of medieval poems that portray the birth of the infant Christ as a warrior against Satan and sin. Fish describes the work as "one of the monumental works of the treble choir repertoire and arguably the most popular work within the genre."

"Britten throughout his life was seeking to regain his child-like innocence that disappears with adulthood," Fish said. "The Middle English poetry portrays the Christ Child as an infant warrior against the evils of sin."

"Mass of the Children" is Rutter's only major work written since 2001, which was the year he lost his son in an automobile accident, Fish explained. The work is for adult choir, children's choir and chamber ensemble, and the performing forces for this will be the Choral Union, Hudson Middle School Choir, directed by Mary Turner, and an SFA instrumental faculty chamber ensemble.

"This work also depicts child-like innocence with its lovely, simple melodies and employment of a children's choir in each movement," Fish said. "Rutter supplements the Mass with popular English poetry, sung by children's choir, to exude both youthful exuberance and naiveté.

"We are thrilled to have the Hudson Middle School Choir joining us for this concert," Fish said. "It has been a dream of mine to feature a local choir for some time now. I hope it is something we can continue for the future."

The concert is a presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. 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.