The Grinnell Singers, a 49-voice choral ensemble from Grinnell College, will present concerts in churches in Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, Jackson, Miss., and Houston as part of a spring break tour, March 18-24.
The centerpiece of the Singers’ concert repertoire is the Mar. 19 premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’ “Anything Can Happen,” a five-movement work setting the poetry of Seamus Heaney and biblical verses in Arabic. The choir will be accompanied in this special commission project by violist Christine Rutledge, professor of music at the University of Iowa.
The concert also includes music by Josquin des Prez; Monteverdi; a rousing work from Cuba, “El Almuercero;” a playful work with percussion by the Latvian composer Vaclovas Augustinas; a gospel-styled setting of a Whitman text, “My Spirit is Uncaged;” richly expressive works by Rachmaninov and Rheinberger; and a work by Grinnell senior Michael Maiorana.
Directed by Professor of Music John Rommereim, the Singers’ tour schedule will include:
Mar. 18, 4 p.m.: Church of St. Paul & The Redeemer, 4945 S. Dorchester Ave., Chicago, Ill.
Mar. 19, 7:30 p.m.: Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, 126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago, Ill., with the premiere of the Fairouz work
Mar. 20, 7:30 p.m.: St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, 808 North Mason Rd., Creve Coeur, Mo.
Mar. 22, 7 p.m.: Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 655 Beasley Rd., Jackson, Miss., with the Grinnell Young, Gifted and Black Gospel Choir
Mar. 23, 7 p.m.: Trinity Church, 1329 Jackson Ave., New Orleans, La.
Mar. 24, 5 p.m.: Brentwood Baptist Church, 13033 Landmark Dr., Houston, Tex., with the Grinnell Young, Gifted and Black Gospel Choir
The Singers will also perform a “home from tour” concert with composer Fairouz in attendance on Sat., Apr. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Sebring-Lewis Hall, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, on the Grinnell College campus. “Anything Can Happen” was commissioned by Grinnell College through the generous support of the Curd Fund, Cantori New York’s Jeffrey D. Silver Fund, the Back Bay Chorale, and the Marsh Chapel Choir of Boston University.
Known for their innovative and adventurous choral programming, the Grinnell Singers have premiered more than 20 choral works in the past five years, under Rommereim’s direction. Rommereim is active as a composer, singer, and scholar whose work is centered in the areas of Russian choral music and early music performance. Each year the choir presents concerts across the U.S. and has traveled to Estonia, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey. The group has also been invited to perform at two regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. For more information about Grinnell Singers, go to http://www.grinnell.edu/academic/music/ensembles/singers.
Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations, and pre-professional programs.