MAILED: April 28, 2000
The Singing Statesmen at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 12, in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center.
Most of the pieces the group sang in Madison at the American Choral Directors Association North Central Division Convention March 2 will be included in the spring concert in addition to numerous other works.
The program will start with works by classical composers such as Anton Bruckner, Franz Schubert and Benjamin Britten. During this portion of the show, the choir also will perform Franz Biebl's "Pater Noster." For this piece there will be six student soloists: seniors David Harper, Lone Rock, Josh Countryman, Colfax, Joe Turba, Cumberland, and Robert Schlidt, Hartford, and sophomores Andy French, Plymouth, Minn., and Josh Bonis, Eleva.
The second portion of the show deals with war, sacrifice and death, but "we will speak eloquently about it through the words of Walt Whitman," said Dr. Gary Schwartzhoff, associate professor of music and theatre arts and conductor of the choir.
Two pieces during this four-piece set are taken from text by Walt Whitman. One is "Reconciliation" by Stephen Chatman and the other is "Hush'd Be the Camps To-day" which is arranged by junior Tom Anderson, Aitkin, Minn.
"I was looking for another piece to go with this set. Tom presented this to me and it seemed to fit textually, so I decided to use it," said Schwartzhoff.
The final set of the program also will feature a piece arranged by senior Josh Countryman, Colfax. Countryman arranged the American folk tune "Fly Away."
"Again, Josh brought the idea to me and it rounded out the set nicely," said Schwartzhoff, adding that the final set is a group of folk songs.
Schwartzhoff said it's always been characteristic of the Statesmen to have the last set of its concert be folk songs.
Among the folk songs to be sung are "Rainbow 'Round my Shoulder" by Robert DeCormier and "I'm Gonna Sing" by Robert Hunter, both of which are African-American folk songs. Irish and French folk tunes also will be performed.
"The essence of a country's history and heritage is found in its folk music," Schwartzhoff said.
As always, one of the final songs of the program will be "Will You Remember" by Sigmund Romberg. This song is sung in honor of Mother's Day because the concert falls on the same weekend. During the song, the Statesmen will go out into the audience and give their mothers a rose.
Innocent Men, an a cappella group, also will perform three songs during the intermission.
Tickets, available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, are $5 for adults; $4 for those age 62 and older, children 17 and younger, and faculty or staff with a university ID; or $1.50 for students with a university ID.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: May 2, 2000