choir practice

December 01, 2017

SIU Concert Choir and Choral Union join forces for contemporary music concert

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – The combined forces of the SIU Choral Union and the SIU Concert Choir present “To the Field of Stars” at Shryock Auditorium on Dec. 5. 

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and features Eric Lenz, interim director of the School of Music, on cello. 

The program is a celebration of contemporary choral music. With the exception of the opening chorus, “The Heavens are Telling,” from Haydn’s 1798 “Creation” oratorios, all the selections are 21st century pieces. 

Chris Butler, SIU percussion lecturer, joins Lenz on the program title selection, “To the Field of Stars,” composed by Gabriel Jackson, and a string septet joins in on “Stargazing,” by James Eakin III. SIU alumna Anita Hutton plays organ on the opening Haydn piece and on a Jonathan Dove selection, “Seek Him That Maketh the Seven Stars.” In fact, Susan Davenport, director of choral activities, notes that the organ is so much the highlight of that selection it is almost as if the choir is the accompaniment to it. 

“The music is far less predictable than some music the choirs usually sing,” Davenport said. “The concert will be interesting from a contemporary music point of view.”