Music Department Spring Gala Features Cantata "Carmina Burana"

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Fairmont State University Department of Music will present for its Spring Gala the cantata “Carmina Burana,” on Saturday, April 26, performed by the Fairmont State Collegiate Singers, Community Chorus and Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Valarie Huffman. Also featured will be the Chanticleer Children’s Chorus of West Virginia. The professional soloists for the concert will be soprano Mandy Spivak, tenor Alec Carlson and baritone Paul Kreider.

The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Colebank Hall on the Fairmont State campus. Tickets are $10 for the general public; $5 for seniors (age 65 and older) or faculty and staff; and free for all students. Tickets can be purchased by calling the FSU Box Office at (304) 367-4240.

“Carmina Burana” was composed in 1935-1936 by the German composer Carl Orff (1895-1982). The texts were selected from a collection of medieval poetry that was written mostly in Latin and Middle High German. The subjects include love, the coming of spring, laments for the fickleness of fate and bawdy drinking songs. The piece premiered in Frankfurt in 1937, and it was an immediate success. It has since become one of the most frequently performed pieces in the classical repertoire. Orff originally composed the work for choir and orchestra, but the Fairmont State ensembles will perform a version adapted for choir and wind ensemble. 

There are several movements of “Carmina Burana” that call for a children’s choir, and the Fairmont State Department of Music welcomes the Chanticleer Children’s Chorus of West Virginia and its collaboration. The children’s chorus founder and artistic director is Sarah L. Carr.

The weekend after the “Carmina Burana” performance in Fairmont, 40 singers from FSU will travel to Charleston, to perform the work with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Grant Cooper.  The choir will be made up of a combination of singers from the West Virginia Symphony Chorus, West Virginia University and Fairmont State.