Ceremonies and Carols with University Singers and Humboldt Chorale - Humboldt State Now

Ceremonies and Carols with University Singers and Humboldt Chorale

HSU University Singers capture the holiday spirit with Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and the Humboldt Chorale sings a liturgical work in their shared concert on Sunday, December 15 at 8 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall.

Besides being appropriate for the holidays, performing the seven movements of Ceremony of Carols has two other occasions. “Britten was born in 1913, the same year that HSU was founded,” director Harley Muilenberg points out. “We perform it to celebrate HSU’s 100 years.”

That also means that this is Britten’s centennial, so “choirs all over the world are performing Britten’s choral works,” Muilenberg noted.

The University Singers also perform two movements from Randall Thompson’s The Testament of Freedom, which was written for another university-related birthday: Thomas Jefferson’s bicentennial in 1943. Thompson was teaching at the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, so the text was taken from Jefferson’s writings.

The piece proved so popular that it was transmitted over short wave radio to Allied soldiers in Europe during World War II. It premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1945 on a memorial program for the recently deceased President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The concert also features the Humboldt Chorale, a community choir directed by Carol Ryder. The Chorale performs “Magnficat” by contemporary composer Imant Raminsh, who was born in Latvia and resides in Canada. This piece won the 1990 Canadian National Choral Award for outstanding choral work.

The Magnificat or “Song of Mary” is a canticle sung in several Christian church services, related to the Virgin Mary. Various composers have written music to accompany the text, including Monteverdi, Bach and modern composers such as Ralph Vaughn Williams, Arvo Parte as well as Raminsh.

Soloists for the Humboldt Chorale performance are Fiona Ryder and James Gadd.

Humboldt State University Singers and Humboldt Chorale perform on Sunday, December 15 at 8 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall. Tickets are available from the HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. $8/$5 seniors and children and HSU students with ID admitted free. Produced by HSU Music Department. For more information, visit HSUMusic.blogspot.com.