Choral Union performs Dec. 5

The Ripon College Choral Union ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, in Demmer Recital Hall, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts. Admission is free and open to the public.

The conductor is John C. Hughes, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities at Ripon College. Maria Kaiser Dietrich will be featured as pianist.

The program centers on two longer works, both of which rely heavily on counterpoint, the relationship between one or more independent voices. This technique typically is associated with early music.

“Schicksalslied,” by Johannes Brahms (1833–1897), is a setting of a dramatic poem by Friedrich Hölderin (1770–1843). Albert Dietrich, Brahms’s longtime friend, said Brahms came across Hölderin’s text during the summer of 1868 while visiting Dietrich. Brahms was so profoundly moved by the poem that he shortened his visit in order to return to Hamburg to begin this composition.

The choral music of Randall Thompson (1899–1984) is some of the most widely performed. His choral cycle “Frostiana” comprises settings of poetry by Robert Frost. It was commissioned for the 200th anniversary of the incorporation of Amherst, Massachusetts, and was intended for a community choir similar to Choral Union. When the work was premiered in 1959, Thompson conducted, and Frost was in attendance.

Professor of English David Graham will be speaking at the concert about Frost.

The final selection is an arrangement of the famous hymn “Praise to the Lord” (“Lobe den Herren”), arranged by F. Melius Christiansen (1871–1955). It is the signature song of the St. Olaf Choir, which Christiansen founded.

The Choral Union singers include numerous members of the community and these students:

Sopranos: Keeley Eames ’18 of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin; Margaret Goodwin ’18 of Port Washington, Wisconsin; Rebecca McLain ’18 of Morristown, New Jersey; Stephanie Nilsen ’18 of Waukesha, Wisconsin; Viridiana Vega ’15 of Avalon, California; Sophie Widman ’18 of Boulder Creek, California; Rebekah Wright ’18 of Waupaca, Wisconsin; Carly Zenn ’15 of Vernon Hills, Illinois.

Altos: Ali Finken ’16 of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; Justine Jacobsen, ’18 of Janesville, Wisconsin; Sydney Jones ’18 of Edina, Minnesota; Rachel Kolodziej ’18 of Oak Park, Illinois; Katherine Lasee ’15 of De Pere, Wisconsin; Kay Luling ’16 of West Allis, Wisconsin; Brittany Mangin ’17 of Manitowoc, Wisconsin; Lydia Nelson ’18 of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin; Yvanka “Eve” Rivera ’18 of Chicago, Illinois; Kathleen Smith ’15 of Ripon, Wisconsin; Sheila Stonecipher ’15 of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; Maddison Vega ’18 of Kenosha, Wisconsin; Cecelia Ward ’18 of Coldwater, Michigan.

Tenors: Christopher Beger ’17 of Lyons, Illinois; Bruce King ’15 of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Basses: Sebastian Cooper ’18 of Black Jack, Missouri; Calvin Manuel ’16 of Appleton, Wisconsin; Mitchell Port ’18 of Watertown, Wisconsin; Benjamin Valdez-Hempel ’17 of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Daniel Zipperer ’18 of Necedah, Wisconsin.

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