PLU Chorale tours the southeast, uses music to make the world a better place
The Chorale will perform in Georgia, Alabama and Florida and will close the tour with a homecoming concert in PLU’s Lagerquist Concert Hall.
By Mandi LeCompte
In a program titled “I Can Tell the World,” the Pacific Lutheran University Chorale will perform a repertoire of choral music, featuring works by Felix Mendelssohn, Halsey Stevens, Norman Dello Joio, Moses Hogan, Eriks Ešenvalds, and more. Dr. Brian Galante will conduct the 42-student ensemble on tour and in concert in three cities in the southeast United States.
The title of the program is taken from Moses Hogan’s arrangement of the traditional spiritual I Can Tell the World. Each piece in the program presents a statement, whether one of strength, supplication, faith, hope, resolve, joy or journey.
“I talk often in rehearsal about using music to ‘make the world a better place,’ and it seems, especially at this time, that we need profound text, music and artistry to help—in whatever small way—heal a broken world,” Galante says. “This title binds the music in our concert into that one theme.”
As an example, the ensemble will perform a set of pieces that represent beauty overcoming hatred. John Muehleisen’s When All is Done was written in response to the murder of Matthew Sheppard, and describes our resolve to “go on,” to reject the notion that hate and violence win. Ēriks Ešenvalds’ O Salutaris Hostia follows, and brings a spiritual strength to this resolve. The ensemble finishes the set with JAC Redford’s Let Beauty Be Our Memorial, which reflects our desire to be remembered for the beauty that we create, to use beauty, kindness and love to win out over hatred and evil.
In addition, audience members will hear pieces rarely performed. Halsey Stevens’ Magnificat and Norman Dello Joio’s Song of the Open Road were both written in the mid-20th century, and are representative pieces of the writing of American choral composers at the time. Both feature virtuosic parts for trumpet and piano.
Two works by Felix Mendelssohn, Richte mich, Gott, Op. 78, No. 2, and Mitten wir im Leben sind, Op. 23, No. 3, present profound statements of faith in glorious music.
“In addition to being a superb pianist, Oksana is a wonderful collaborator: it often feels like we’re having a musical conversation when she is on stage,” Galante explains. “That kind of musicianship and artistry elevates everything that we do.”
Lyman performs on three advanced works—Magnificat, Song of the Open Road, and When All is Done.
“He makes the difficult seem easy, the disjunct lines fluid and connected, almost like another voice in the ensemble,” Galante says. “The combination of the trumpet and choir is a stirring sound.”
The southeast is an area yet untouched by the voices of University Chorale. The Chorale will perform in Georgia, Alabama and Florida and will close the tour with a homecoming concert in PLU’s Lagerquist Concert Hall.
The Pacific Lutheran University Chorale tours domestically and represents a dynamic Department of Music comprised of 200 music majors and 400-500 music program participants each academic year. The choir recently appeared on the PBS broadcast of “A PLU Christmas Invitation.”
All performances are open to the public, with the exception of the homecoming concert in Tacoma, Washington, all are free. Visit www.plu.edu/chorale for more information on the Chorale and tour information.