On Friday, April 29, at 8 p.m., the Fairmont State University Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. Sam Spears, will present a concert, “Rhapsody,” at the Fairmont First Presbyterian Church, 301 Jackson St., Fairmont. The concert is free and open to the public.
The concert will open with a contemporary religious piece with “a relentless sense of momentum,” The Word was God, by Rosephanye Powell. This will be followed by Igor Stravinsky’s Ave Maria, for which he drew on both Russian Orthodox and Roman Latin traditions.
The concert will then move from the 20th century to the Renaissance for an earthy chanson, Il estoit une religieuse by Orlando di Lasso, a mischievous madrigal, Bonzorno Madonna by Antonio Scandello, and Sicut cervus, a setting of Psalm 42 by Giovanni da Palestrina.
For the next five numbers, the Chamber Choir will return to the 20th century. Michael McCarthy’s Vidi Aquam is drawn from Ezekiel 47 and Psalm 118, texts which have traditionally been associated with the sprinkling of holy water on the congregation during the Easter season.
At this point the concert will move from religious to secular with a group of love songs. Robert Young’s Two Love Songs, settings of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 29 and of a verse from the Song of Solomon. Then comes a light-hearted jubilee song, Honey Brown by Arthur Cunningham and I’ve Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good) by Duke Ellington.
The next song, Bohemian Rhapsody by Freddie Mercury is described by Spears as “the most challenging song this ensemble has tackled all year, with its sudden changes of key, mood, and texture.”
Finally, the concert will move back in time once more for the closing number, a traditional spiritual, I Know I’ve Been Changed.