Choir Returns Home to Perform Its New England Tour Program

03/13/2008

Contributed by Erik Kibelsbeck

After spending spring break performing at venues throughout New England, the Ithaca College Choir, led by Lawrence Doebler, will return home and present its tour program at Ithaca College on Monday, March 17. The free performance will begin at 8:15 p.m. in Ford Hall in the James J. Whalen Center for Music.

The program includes music from Boston in the 1770s, a musical adaptation by David Dickau of a text focused on the healing power of music, and Randall Thompson's epic setting of Robert Frost's poetry, "Frostiana." Schoenberg's "Friede auf Erden," ("Peace on Earth") will be sung in a new translation by Mark Radice, professor of music history at the Ithaca College School of Music. A wordless version of "Danny Boy," harmonized by Percy Grainger, and a series of spirituals in settings by Moses Hogan will round out the program.

The choir's spring tour began on March 10 and took the group to five venues. A seasoned ensemble, the choir has toured extensively on the East Coast and Midwest, and in 2002 traveled to Ireland for a series of concerts and workshops in Galway, Limerick, and Cork. In addition, the group has presented major concerts at music educator conventions at Carnegie Hall, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Halls at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

In each of the last 29 years, the choir has premiered works that have been published by Theodore Presser as part of the Ithaca College Choral Series. Many distinguished composers have accepted the commission, including Vincent Persichetti, Karel Husa, William Schuman, Peter Schickele, Chen Yi, and, most recently, David Dickau.

Lawrence Doebler is a professor of music and director of choral activities in the School of Music, where he is currently in his thirtieth year. Early training in keyboard, strings, voice, and brass led him to degrees in conducting from Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio and Washington University in St. Louis. Doebler began his professional teaching career in 1969 at Smith College. From 1971 through 1978 he taught and conducted at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In addition to his academic appointments, he currently serves as music director of the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble.

The Ithaca College School of Music offers some 300 free concerts each academic year. More information on these performances is available by calling 607-274-3717 or visiting www.ithaca.edu/concerts.

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