September 30, 2016

Concert choir, wind ensemble to perform ‘Prism: The Cosmos’

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Concert Choir and Wind Ensemble bring “eclipse fever” to Shryock Auditorium on Oct. 6 with “Prism: The Cosmos,” a concert featuring works with an astronomical theme. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. 

A Prism concert is an interactive performance with ensembles in rotation to present continuous music. Individual sets are about 20 minutes long and alternate among performers, who are often set up in different positions within the venue. The idea is to bring different moods throughout the seamless performance. 

Susan Davenport, director of choral activities and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts, noted that the concert choir and the wind ensemble offer a Prism concert about every other year. They blend music, spoken word, video and dance into a holistic artistic experience based on a topic or theme. 

“Some other topics have been ‘American Voices’ or ‘Invitation to Dance,’ she said. “We thought a concert about the ‘Cosmos’ would be neat since we’re less than a year out from the eclipse. And there is a wealth of musical and other material to draw from.” 

The SIU Wind Ensemble will play two movements from Gustav Holst’s “Planets,” which, Davenport said, are quite well known to many people. They will also play a selection from Richard Strauss, which many may recognize as the opening fanfare from the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.” 

The SIU Concert Choir will perform “Island in Space,” which takes the words of Rusty Schweickart, an Apollo 9 astronaut who spoke eloquently about what Earth looks like from space, and sets it to music, along with the poem “Riders on the Earth,” by Archibald MacLeish. The choir also has a beautiful version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and another piece accompanied by tuned water glasses. 

“The uninterrupted Prism format makes the concert more of an event for all the senses, rather than just a music experience,” Davenport said. 

Tickets are $12, with student tickets priced at $6. Order tickets at 618/453-6000 or online, or get them in person at the Shryock Auditorium or McLeod Theater box offices. Tickets are also available at the door beginning one hour before the performance.