The Concert Choir, the premiere choral ensemble of Heidelberg University’s School of Music, will perform its home concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Under the direction of Dr. Greg Ramsdell, director of choral activities and assistant professor of choral music education, the concert is themed “Night at the Museum.” “Our concert repertoire is organized in a way that we hope will approximate for the listener a stroll through a sonic art gallery,” Ramsdell said.
In the first gallery, all of the compositions are related to the themes of nature and creation. The second gallery transitions to timeless musical selections related to Nativity and Christmas narratives. The concert concludes with a gallery of compositions that explores the intricate subject of human relationships, often examining them through the lens of nature imagery. “As the concert progresses, we sincerely hope that our audiences will be moved by the symbiotic relationship between poetry and music, and that the cumulative associations of each piece will evoke ever-developing images regarding the essence of life itself,” Ramsdell added.
Highlighting the program will be compositions by Howard Helvey (“O lux beatissima”), Gwyneth Walker (“I Will Be Earth”), David Conte (A setting of Theodore Roethke’s “The Waking”), Eric Whitacre (“Lux aurumque”), David Childs (A setting of Emily Dickinson’s “The Moon Is Distant from the Sea”), Irving Berlin (“Blue Skies”), Norman Dello Joio (A setting of the composer’s adaption of Christina Rossetti’s “Echo”) and David Brunner (“Yo le canto todo el dia”). Complementing these compositions will be arrangements of traditional folk songs and spirituals by Mack Wilberg (“The King of Love My Shepherd Is”), Bob Chilcott (“Shenandoah”), and Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory (“Go Where I Send Thee”).
A special addition to the concert program will be a selection of artwork by members of the Tiffin Art Guild, who created paintings, sculptures and glassworks inspired by the texts the Concert Choir will sing. The artwork will be on display in the St. Mary’s sanctuary before, during and after the performance.
Since its inception in 1938, the Concert Choir has achieved the distinction of being one of the premier collegiate choral ensembles in the Midwest. Open to all Heidelberg students regardless of major, the Concert Choir rehearses three times each week and performs more than 15 concerts each year, including a domestic tour and a performance of Handel's “Messiah” as part of Heidelberg’s Christmas concert at Tiffin’s Ritz Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Ramsdell is in his second year as the Concert Choir’s director. In addition to his conducting responsibilities, he teaches undergraduate courses in conducting and secondary choral methods. He also teaches graduate courses in curriculum development, research in music education and music theory.
Ramsdell received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in music education from Bowling Green State University. In 2006, he earned his doctorate in choral conducting performance from the University of Kansas. Prior to joining the Heidelberg faculty, Ramsdell taught junior high general music and oversaw a large junior high and high school choral music program in Greenville, Pa. He also taught at Westminster College in Pennsylvania and at the University of Central Arkansas.
The concert is free and open to the public. A freewill offering will be taken.