Lawrence University Academy of Music

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Timeless Classics Featured in Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir Concert

More than 250 voices will lend their talents to music that has stood the test of the time — from lullabies to spirituals — in the Lawrence University Academy of Music’s Girl Choir concert “Choral Classics” Saturday, Dec. 10 in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, 510 E. College Ave., Appleton.

For the first time in the girl choir’s 15-year history, the concert will be performed twice on the same day, at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets, at $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, are available at the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

The concert will feature performances by five separate choirs — Primo, Allegretto, Intermezzo, Cantabile and Bel Canto — under the direction of Molly Tomashek, Cheryl Meyer and Karen Bruno. Members of the choirs, selected by audition, include girls 8-18 years of age representing more than 50 schools from throughout northeast Wisconsin.

Selections to be performed include Handel’s “Give Thanks and Praise,” the Scottish folk song “The Raggle-Taggle Gypsies,” Schubert’s “Benedictus” and Gustav Holst’s “Ave Maria,” which is widely considered a masterpiece among women’s choir literature.

“The repertoire that will be performed in this concert is exceptionally varied,” said Karen Bruno, artistic coordinator of the girl choir program. “We will feature European ‘art music’ from as early as the 16th century, as well as more contemporary American choral compositions and folk songs from several foreign countries.

“We try to make our programs as accessible as possible, so no one should worry about being intimated by this type of musical literature,” Bruno added. “There will be extensive program notes with helpful information and lots of interesting facts.”

Founded in 1991, the Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir program provides quality choral opportunities for girls in the greater Fox Valley area and encourages the development of vocal technique, music reading skills, creativity, expressive artistry and an awareness of various cultures.

Four Lawrence Academy of Music Ensembles Showcased in Pair of Concerts

Nearly 200 young musicians representing four ensembles from the Lawrence University Academy of Music will showcase their talents Sunday, Dec. 4 in a pair of concerts at the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

The string orchestra and the flute choir will take the stage in a 3 p.m. concert, while the honors band and wind ensemble will perform in a 7 p.m. concert. Tickets for each concert are $6 and can be purchased at the Lawrence Box Office, 832-6749 or at the door the day of the event.

The 63-member string orchestra, featuring students in grades 4-8 under the direction of Linda Callahan, will perform a program with appeal to youngsters as well as the young at heart. Highlighting the concert will be two works arranged by Appleton elementary and middle level strings teacher Carrie Gruselle — “Postcards from Russia” and “John Henry.”

The flute choir concert will include works by Handel, Beethoven, Brahms and conclude with a rendition of Ricky Lombardo’s stirring arrangement of “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” The 13-member ensemble comprised of students in grades 8-12 features several different types of flutes, including bass flute and alto flute. Barb Boren, flute choir coach and Lawrence sophomore Katie Buchanan will co-direct the ensemble.

In the evening concert, the honors band will pay tribute to Ralph Rothe. A 1949 Lawrence graduate, Rothe spent more than 30 years as band director in the Appleton school district. Following his death earlier this year, he bequeathed to Lawrence and the Academy his entire collection of 1,600 band arrangements, music that spans nearly the entire 20th century.

The 57-member band of seventh, eighth and ninth graders, will perform four pieces from Rothe’s collection, including Grant Hull’s “European Folk Tune Suite,” which features a Russian dance, a Polish lullaby and a Spanish dance.

The honors band also will premiere an arrangement by Jon Meyer, the ensemble’s director, of A.F. Weldon’s 1914 March, “Gate City,” an eclectic collection of Southern tunes ranging from Stephen Foster to “Dixie” written to honor Atlanta, once known for its large number of gated yards.

Closing out the evening concert will be a performance of the 62-member Academy Wind Ensemble under the direction of Michael Ross. The ensemble features advanced woodwind, brass and percussion students in grades 9-12.

Highlighting the concert will be a pair of solo performances by guest artist Marty Erickson, a former principal/solo tubist for 26 years with the United States Navy Band in Washington D.C. Heard on more than 40 recordings of orchestra, concert band, brass band, dixieland jazz, folk and children’s music, Erickson has performed in 48 of the 50 states, throughout Europe as well as in Japan and Cuba. He has played with such legendary ensembles as the Boston Pops Orchestra, the National Symphony and the Smithsonian Masterworks Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Gunther Schuller.

Erickson currently teaches tuba and euphonium in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. During the concert, he will perform Rossini’s “Largo al Factotum” and “Concertino for Tuba” by Rolf Wilhelm.

“Yuletide Carols” presented by the Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir

The Girl Choir of Lawrence University’s Academy of Music will present a concert of “Yuletide Carols” on Sunday, December 19 at 3:00 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 dollars for students and seniors. They are available at the Lawrence University Box Office (920-832-6749) beginning December 6.

The concert will feature both familiar and new Christmas music, with several pieces using combined choirs and audience participation. The five choirs, conducted by Molly Tomashek, Cheryl Meyer, and Karen Bruno, contain over 200 members in all. The choirs consist of girls in grades 3 through 12. The Cantabile Choir, whose members are in grades 7-9, will travel to New York in April to sing in the world famous Carnegie Hall.

The Girl Choir Program of the Lawrence Academy of Music seeks to provide quality choral opportunities for girls in the Fox Valley region. Through the study and performance of the highest quality music, the girls develop vocal technique, music reading skills, creativity, expressive artistry, and an awareness of various cultures. The Girl Choir Program strives to create an atmosphere that encourages girls to respect the uniqueness of others, to take risks that foster individual growth, and to continue their development into self-assured young women. Currently there are over 200 girls singing in the Girl Choir program. They represent over 50 schools from throughout Northeastern Wisconsin.