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ONU’s National Tour Choir to perform at the Freed Center

Jun 16, 2016

The Ohio Northern University National Tour Choir will conclude its 2016 national tour with a home concert in the Freed Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, June 20, 2016, at 8 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. A freewill offering for the touring group will be taken.

The concert will be in three sections and will open with a sacred segment beginning with Wallace DePue’s processional “Sing den Herrn.” The choir will then present various styles of sacred literature, including “The Glory of The Father” by Egil Hovland, a setting of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” by Howard Helvey, “Weeping Mary” arranged by Brad Holmes, and Robert Ray’s “He Never Failed Me Yet.”

The second segment will include international and contemporary music. The choir will sing a challenge to “Eat Your Vegetables” and a piece by Ēriks Ešenvalds titled “Stars.” This is a setting of a Sara Teasdale text accompanied by tuned water glasses and Tibetan singing bowls. The choir commissioned the next piece, “For Our World,” an original composition by Joseph Martin, as a premiere for this tour. This setting of the poem by the same title was written by Mattie J.T. Stepanek and published when he was just 12 years old. It is a call to aspire to an elevated level of common good. The section will end with the “Sakkijarven Polka” arranged by Jonathan Rathbone. Also featured will be choir accompanist and piano soloist Andreya Grzegorzewski.

The final segment of the concert will focus on American music. The American folk song “Cindy” will be featured in an arrangement by Mack Wilberg, composer and conductor of the Morman Tabernacle Choir. The choir will present a double choir setting of “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” from “Annie Get Your Gun” as well as James Erb’s arrangement of “Shenandoah.” A testament to those who have served will be presented in the “Armed Forces Medley,” arranged by Greg Gilpin, and the concert will end with a choral “Benediction.”

The ONU National Tour Choir traveled to 26 states during May and June 2016. The choir consists of members of the ONU University Singers, the top choral ensemble at ONU, which tours annually. It is under the direction of Dr. Ben Ayling, director of choral activities at Ohio Northern University.