The Grinnell Singers, recently returned from a five-city tour, will perform the campus premiere of a commissioned work by rising composer Mohammed Fairouz on Sat., Apr. 14, with the composer present. The 49-voice select choir, directed by Professor of Music John Rommereim, will be joined by violist Christine Rutledge of the University of Iowa and baritone Andrew Whitfield of Luther College in the performance of Fairouz' work, which sets to music the poetry of Seamus Heaney and biblical verses in Arabic.
The Grinnell concert, at 7:30 p.m. in Sebring-Lewis Hall of Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, will also include music by Josquin des Prez; Monteverdi; Rachmaninov; Rheinberger; and Grinnell senior Michael Maiorana.
“Anything Can Happen,” which includes one movement titled “In Iowa,” 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. The Singers premiered the Fairouz work in Chicago during their recent spring break tour.
On Fri., Apr. 20, the Singers will perform Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concerts” with the Grinnell Jazz Ensemble and the Grinnell Oratorio Society. The concert at 7:30 p.m. in Sebring-Lewis Hall will also feature baritone Christopher Johnson and soprano Graciela Guzman. Ellington declared the "Sacred Concerts" to be the most important work he had ever done. This masterwork combines elements of jazz, gospel, classical, blues, and tap.
The Singers will also perform the Ellington works in downtown Des Moines on Sun., Apr. 22 at 4 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 600 6th Ave.
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 an active composer, singer and scholar whose work is centered in the areas of Russian choral music and early music performance. 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.