High NoteGAMBIER, Ohio (March 2, 2012)
A spring-break road trip for 53 Kenyon students will take them to seven cities in seven days, stopping along the way to make some beautiful music.
The Chamber Singers, conducted by Benjamin R. Locke, Robert A. Oden Jr. Professor of Music, are touring the Midwest this year, and the tempo is swift. The bus makes its first stop in Indianapolis on Saturday and reaches Oberlin, Ohio, after performances in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, on March 9.
"Kenyon students are the best ambassadors for the College," Locke said. "Our students are such fine people. And they have it in them to really impress our audiences."
The eclectic program includes the Bach motet Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Sing unto the Lord a new song), B.W.V. 225, described by Locke as "one of the most difficult pieces in the choral literature to perform." Not to worry. "The talent is such that I really felt that this group has the capability of doing it very well," he said.
"One never really masters any music until after repeated performances, until you have the opportunity to do it under pressure and when you have the ability to improve upon it," Locke said. "By the time we get back to Gambier, we'll be giving our best musical interpretations to our home crowd."
Locke and his wife, Kay, have shepherded the Chamber Singers on concert tours for twenty-eight years. Accommodations for the troupe are provided by alumni and churches that host the concerts, typically in homes. "It's educational," he said. "You learn how to deal with people. You adapt." And the tour is demanding, which provides another life lesson. "How do you deal with repeated performances? How do you work through the tiredness? There's a professional aspect to this that is critical."
Chamber Singers alumni do more than share their homes. They're often invited to join the group for Kokosing Farewell , the traditional vesper hymn that includes the lyrics, "But when we are far from Kokosing, we still shall hear a calling bell."
March 3, 2:30 p.m. - N. East 91st Christian Church, 6049 E 91st St., Indianapolis, Indiana, 46250
March 4, 7:00 p.m. - St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 2120 Lincoln St., Evanston, Illinois, 60202
March 5, 7:00 p.m. - Old St. Joseph Church, Norbert College, 123 Grant St., De Pere, Wisconsin, 54115
March 6, 7:00 p.m. - St. John's Lutheran Church, 500 West 3rd St., Northfield, Minnesota, 55057
March 7, 7:00 p.m. - First Presbyterian Church, 5763 County Road Q, Waunakee, Wisconsin, 53597
March 8, 7:00 p.m. - Sunnyside Presbyterian Church, 115 South Frances St., South Bend, Indiana, 46617
March 9, 7:30 p.m. - Christ Episcopal Church, 162 South Main St., Oberlin, Ohio, 44074
March 24, 8:00 p.m. - Rosse Hall, Kenyon
Ave Maria - by Jean Mouton (1475-1522), Hodie Christus natus est - by
Niels la Cour (b. 1944), Ascendo ad patrem meum
- by Jacob Handl (1550-1591)
Adonai, ro'i - by Judith Shatin (b. 1949), Shir Ha-Shirim - transcribed
by Lazare Saminsky, arranged by Yehudi Wyner (b. 1929)
Till the End - by Benjamin Locke (b. 1950), Nachtwache II (Night Watch
II), op. 104, no. 2 - by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, B.W.V. 225 - by Johann Sebastian Bach
Kyrie - by Knut Nystedt (b.1915), Mundi renovatio (Renewal of the earth) - by György Orbán (b. 1947)
In beauty may I walk - by Jonathan Dove (b. 1959)
Wach auf, meins Herzens Schöne - by Henk Badings (1907-1987), Akhala
Amaqhude Amabili (Two Roosters Crowing) - arranged by Mzilikazi
Khumalo (b. 1932)
Tokkata: Ode to J. S. Bach - by Herman Rechberger (b. 1947)
Mésange (Chickadee) - by Ramona Luengen (b. 1960), Lerchengesang (Song
of the Lark), op. 48, no. 4 - by Felix Mendelssohn
I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray - arranged by Hall Johnson (1888-1970), The
Battle of Jericho - arranged by Moses Hogan (1957-2003)
Kokosing Farewell - lyrics by Canon Orville E. Watson (1892), arranged by Locke