MAILED: Oct. 23, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Singing Statesmen will perform its first concert of the 1997-98 academic year at 7:30 p.m. Nov.14 in Gantner Concert Hall of the Fine Arts Center.
This year marks a special milestone for the Statesmen, as it celebrates its 30th anniversary as one of the premier university male choirs in the United States. The ensemble was created in 1967 by Morris D. Hayes, who served as the groups conductor from 1967 to 1988. Two conductors have led the group to many accomplishments since then, with Bruce G. McInnes from 1988 to 1990, and Gary R. Schwartzhoff from 1991 to the present.
Schwartzhoff, associate professor of music and director of choral activities at the university, said he is looking forward to working with this year's 65-member male ensemble.
"The 1997-98 academic year is interesting for two reasons," Schwartzhoff said. "One, we are recognizing the 30th anniversary of the Statesmen during the 50th anniversary of the university's music department. Secondly, one-third of the ensemble are new members. This continuing metamorphosis of the group is both challenging and exciting."
The Singing Statesmen will celebrate its anniversary during its spring concert weekend, May 8 and 9, featuring the piece "Sing Merrily Unto God," commissioned by the Statesmen in commemoration of its 30th concert season by René Clausen. It also will release its third CD in the spring. Other highlights of the year include an invitation to perform at the American Choral Directors Association Convention March 14 in Minneapolis.
The Nov. 14 fall concert features pieces such as "O Filii et Filiae" by Volckmar Leisring; "A Jubilant Song" by René Clausen; "In Veni David," a trombone quartet by Anton Bruckner; "El Yivneh Hagalil," a Hebrew folk song by Peter Sozio; and "Betelehemu," a Nigerian Christmas song by Wendell Whalum. In addition, there will be a special performance by the six-member singing group The Innocent Men. The accompanist will be Matthew Bear from White Bear Lake, Minn.
"The chorus has been working very hard this fall to develop a fine ensemble. Numbers do not make a fine ensemble, work and dedication do," Schwartzhoff said.
The cost of the concert is $5 for the public; $4 for those aged 17 and under, and 62 and over; or $1.50 for students.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Oct. 23, 1997