The Concert Choir, the premiere choral ensemble of Heidelberg University’s School of Music, will perform a concert at St. John United Church of Christ in Bucyrus at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 24.
Under the direction of Dr. Greg Ramsdell, director of choral activities and assistant professor of choral music education, the concert is themed around “Night at the Museum.” The 36-member vocal ensemble will perform a repertoire that brings to mind a series of art galleries, organized by genre or time period. Selections symbolize landscapes, people, still lifes and situations.
Ramsdell explains that the concert repertoire is organized to symbolize a stroll through a sonic art gallery. In the first gallery, all of the compositions are related to the themes of nature and creation. The second gallery begins with a pastoral tone and transitions to timeless texts and selections related to Nativity and Christmas narratives. The concert concludes with the third gallery that explores the subject of human relationships through the lens of nature imagery.
Highlighting the program will be “In My Dreams,” a Paul Mealor composition that portrays a soldier singing to his wife from thousands of miles away. Freshman Casey Jones, a tenor, will be the featured soloist. The choir also will perform “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” an Irish folk song setting of the 23rd psalm, featuring a solo by senior Jaime Furda, as well as an arrangement of the American folk classic “Shenandoah.”
The program also includes the Christmas spiritual “Go Where I Send Thee,” “The Moon is Distant from the Sea,” taken from a poem by Emily Dickinson, and Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies,” featuring vocal solos by Darcianne Allen.
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 in order to offset the choir’s travel expenses.