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October 04, 2013
Vol. 55 No. 5

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Recital highlights vocal season

In a year focused on tradition, Susquehanna's Department of Music will bring back one of its own for the first time in several years when it presents "A Celebration of Singing" on Friday, Oct. 4.
"'A Celebration of Singing' is an opportunity for the audience members to see little snippets or tidbits of programs that are going to happen throughout the year in the music program," Associate Professor of Music and Director of the University Choir Julia Brasher Thorn said of the show.
"It's sort of like a movie trailer," senior and manager of the University Choir Zachary Hornig said. "It's excerpts from different upcoming concerts and performances in an effort to arouse some excitement and interest for what all is scheduled for the upcoming year."
Thorn said that "A Celebration of Singing" is the first show showcasing the vocal program that has been done in several years by the music department.
"This type of concert had been done several years ago but has not been done recently. Dr. Steinau -- who is the new head of the department -- this was his idea to come back and do this type of concert so that the audience as well as alumni could see some of the things that were going on in the department," she said.
Assistant Professor of Music Jason Vodika, director of the Susquehanna University Chorale, said that the show would also be a good way for students, faculty, alumni and members of the Susquehanna community to get to know all the conductors and music department faculty.
During the program, members of the various vocal ensembles, including the University Choir, University Chorale and Chamber Singers, will perform a wide variety of pieces, including a number from the fall musical "Little Shop of Horrors," the opera productions of Giacomo Puccini's "Suor Angelica" and "Gianni Schicchu," numbers from George Frideric Handel's "Messiah," as well as pieces that highlight several student soloists.
"The chorale is an all women's group this year, which is new here. We're doing all music by contemporary women composers. We've been working a lot on singing with full body, feeling free to move while they're singing, interpretation issues that come up in the music. They're so willing to try anything, and it's been really fun to put this together," Vodika said.
"We really have a tremendous amount of contrast within the program. There will be something for everyone," Thorn added.
Throughout the concert, several pieces will also feature numerous student soloists along with instrumental accompaniment.
"As a performer, it is important to be able to bring the most out of a piece of music. There is always something that the composer is trying to express, and as musicians it is our job to find what is special about each piece and convey it to the audience," Hornig said.
"I hope they come away with having thought about something, having felt about something, having felt engaged. I want them to walk away saying anything but 'that was a boring choir concert,'" Vodika said.
Thorn said, "Within vocal singing there's a big diversity of styles of music that you would find, so it truly is a celebration of our art form."

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