ASHLAND — Ashland University’s annual Spring Choral Concert will be Sunday, April 30, at 4 p.m., and features the AU Choir, the AU Chamber Singers and the Ashland Area Chorus. The event, which takes place at Jack and Deb Miller Chapel, is free and open to the public.
Rowland Blackley, director of choral activities and professor of music at AU, will conduct all three ensembles, and Deborah Logan will serve as the accompanying pianist throughout the concert.
The Chamber Singers, a select choir of 12 AU students, will perform a wide-ranging set, starting with “You Are the New Day” by John David and Peter Knight. They will also perform a ballad style of Jerome Kern’s timeless “The Way You Look Tonight” and “Gamelan,” a wordless piece by R. Murray Schafer in which the singers imitate pitched percussion instruments.
The Ashland Area Chorus, a mixed choir that is open to community members, will present “Sweet Day” and “The Willow Song,” two of three Elizabethan-part songs based on a poem by George Herbert and composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. They will also sing John Rutter’s “Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind,” based on a William Shakespeare text.
The AU Choir, comprised of students selected via audition and representing numerous academic majors, will perform the Biblical “The Glory of the Father” by Egil Hovland; an African-American spiritual “Ain’a That Good News” by William Dawson; the popular anthem “O Taste and See” from Psalm 34, which will include a solo by senior Lauren Vladyka; and “Bogoroditse Devo (Rejoice, O Virgin)” which will be sung in Church Slavonic, a Russian liturgical language.
This year’s Spring Choral Concert is dedicated to the university’s longtime organist and adjunct music instructor Timothy Guenther, who passed away in February. A musician of significant stature, Guenther played at most major events on campus since 1996 and traveled to performances with the AU Choir both domestically and abroad.
To honor his memory, the combined choirs, accompanied by the Ashland Chamber Orchestra and Logan, will present Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata 4, “Christ lag in Todes Banden.”
The Life section is supported by Brethren Care Village in Ashland.