MP3 Southern Oregon Repertory Singers - On the Trail of Beauty
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19 MP3 Songs in this album (74:21) !
Related styles: CLASSICAL: Choral Music, CLASSICAL: Vocal Music
The Southern Oregon Repertory Singers have performed to acclaim throughout the Northwest since 1986. Directed by Dr. Paul French, head of the vocal music program at Southern Oregon University, the 40 voice ensemble is committed to the performance and cultivation of choral music and to the education of young singers in the art of choral singing. Our limited size, together with the high ability level of the singers, enables the group; to perform more delicate and intricate repertoire.
In addition to an annual subscription concert series, the ensemble regularly performs with many of Southern Oregonâs leading musical organizations including Northwest Bach Ensemble, Jefferson Baroque Ensemble, Rogue Valley Symphony.
In 2005, the Repertory Singers were joined by Southern Oregon University Chamber Choir and the Rogue Valley Symphony in a performance of Faureâs Requiem.
In 2006, the Repertory Singers presented the Joseph Levineâs new completion of Mozartâs C Minor Mass. The performance was only the second in the nation to sing this newly completed version and was the first group to perform it on the West Coast.
The Southern Oregon Repertory Singers are proud to be counted among the many thriving choral organizations that have a Composer-in-Residence. Craig Kingsbury, whose name is among the best in todayâs world of contemporary composers, has provided the group with the commissioned works that you hear on this album. Based in Ashland, Oregon, home of the world famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival, it became our goal to augment the worldâs choral library with new songs based on words from Shakespeareâs plays. You recognize many of the song titles as being excerpts from Shakespeareâs works. Kingsburyâs works continue to be audience favorites.
The CD includes Kingsburyâs beautiful setting of Ave Maria, a stunning version of There is No Rose, and a delightful A Song for Midsummerâs Eve. One of the most unique works on this CD is O Antiphons. According to Ed Wight, âThe rhythmic effects areâ¦sophisticated, changing time signatures in every bar... This prayer takes you back to the Medieval era and its penchant for simultaneous texts in different languages, often hearing both Latin and English text sung together.
Dr. Paul French was so moved by a single performance at age 18 that it changed the course of his life. As a college student sitting in a music hall he experienced a performance of Josquin's "Ave Maria." He was so inspired that he changed his major and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California at Berkeley and Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Music from the University of Southern California. After teaching and singing in the Los Angeles area for twelve years, French joined the music faculty at Southern Oregon University in 1990 and became conductor for the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers. He is currently Director of Choral/Vocal Studies, and Artistic Director of the Vocal Arts Institute.
Craig Kingsbury earned his degree in music composition at the University of Southern California. He worked for a number of years in Los Angeles as a singer, choral conductor, and arranger, and spent two years in Europe singing oratorio and opera. He now resides in Portland, Oregon, where he arranges music and produces recordings for a publisher of liturgical music.
Craig Kingsbury, composer-in-residence for the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, scouts bookshops, hangs out in their poetry section, and flips through pages to see if a poem catches his ear. When he finds one that interests him, he lives with it for several weeks to see if he is ready to write. "I have to get in that zone of how the poem speaks to me. First, I think of rhythm; then later a melody starts to suggests itself," says Craig. "From there, composing can take several weeks to several months."
It helps that Craig is a singer, has conducted choirs and personally knows the majority of the Repertory Singers. Occasionally, he even performs with the group when more basses are needed. Over the years, as the Repertory Singers premiere his works, which are funded by donors, Craig drives from Portland to be in the audience.
You will want to add this CD to your choral music library. It contains some of the most beautiful modern choral music, much of it written in the 21st Century.
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