Berea College Concert Choir’s Annual Fall Concerts on November 2 and 4

The Berea College Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, conducted by Dr. Stephen Bolster, will present their annual fall concerts in Gray Auditorium on November 2 at 8 p.m. and November 4 at 3 p.m. Convocation credit is available to Berea College students for either performance. The public is invited to attend, and there is no charge for admission. The choirs will be accompanied by Lindsay Clavere on the piano, and special guest artists, the Berea College Bluegrass Ensemble, directed by Al White.

The first half of the program consists of an exciting new piece, “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass” written in 2008 by Minnesota composer Carol Barnett featuring the combined forces of the Concert Choir and the Bluegrass Ensemble. The piece alternates Latin and modern English paraphrase settings of the ordinary of the Mass with verses of a ballad. The musical style is a creative and eclectic mix of Bluegrass and classical music.

The second half of the program features two multi-movement pieces that the Concert Choir will perform on November 16 with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra and other college/university choirs from the region: “Five Mystical Songs” by Ralph Vaughan Williams and “Old American Songs, Part 1” by Aaron Copland. It will also include two groups of pieces by the all-male Chamber Singers: selections from “Frostiana” by American composer Randall Thompson, and arrangements of two popular American Songs, “Scarborough Fair” and “Short People” by Berea music graduate Timothy Carpenter. The concert will conclude with an arrangement of the popular American Negro Spiritual “There is a balm in Gilead” by Raymond Wise.

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Tags: Berea College Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Concert, music

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.