January 22, 2008

Concert choir selected to perform at conference

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Concert Choir is among a select group of invited performers at the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Conference, which begins later this month.

The choir is set to perform from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. on Feb. 1 at the Riverside Community Church in Peoria. The conference runs from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2 in Peoria, with the Peoria Civic Center as home base for many of the approximately 125 sessions and 250 music education and industry booths.

The SIUC Concert Choir is made up of about 40 students, many but not all of them majoring in music-related subjects. Director Susan Davenport, an assistant professor of choral studies, said the choir sent an audition recording to the IMEA last year. This year is the first time the SIUC Concert Choir will perform at the IMEA's statewide conference.

The program includes an original composition, "Even in our Sleep," by SIUC musical theory and composition lecturer Kathleen Ginther. According to the composition, the pain that accompanies us "even in our sleep" and "falls drop by drop against the heart" brings us to despair so that, against our will, we are brought to wisdom "through the awful grace of God."

The choir also performs an original composition written by composer Shulamit Ran, currently the Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor of Music at the University of Chicago. It also performs pieces by other contemporary composers and by classic composers such as George Philip Telemann and Franz Joseph Haydn.

The SIUC Concert Choir performs several times locally each academic year. Davenport said she favors off-campus locations such as churches for performances as an outreach to the Carbondale area community.