Concert Presented in Coordination with Common Reader Project

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A concert by the Collegiate Singers and Chamber Choir will explore music historically and thematically related to the book selected for Fairmont State University’s 2011-2012 Common Reader project, “Year of Wonders” by Geraldine Brooks.  

In conjunction with the campus-wide reading of the novel, Dr. Sam Spears of the Department of Music of the School of Fine Arts has assembled a concert for the Collegiate Singers and Chamber Choir titled “In the Midst of Life.” The concert will be performed at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, in Wallman Hall Theatre. Admission is free and open to the public.

During the concert, the following selections will be performed: “Dies irae” from “Requiem” by Wolfgang Amadaeus Mozart; “Behold, O God Our Defender” by John Blow; “With Drooping Wings” from “Dido and Aeneas” by Henry Purcell; “Sleepers, wake!” from St. Paul by Felix Mendelssohn; “Ein feste Burg” by Melchior Franck; “Der Floh” by Erasmus Widmann; “The Mavis” by Henry Purcell; “Er ist’s” by Hermann Goetz; “Spell Against Sorrow” by Tom Shake; “Crescent Moon” by Leanne Daharja Veitch; “Seasons of Love” from “Rent” by Jonathan Larson; and “What a Wonderful World” by Weiss and Thiele.

The novel “Year of Wonders” tells the story of the last major outbreak of the Bubonic Plague in Europe. When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through her eyes, readers follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Frith must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes a “year of wonders.”

Lectures on campus this spring will also correspond with the Common Reader project. From noon to 1 p.m. Monday, March 5, in Multi-media Room B of the Ruth Ann Musick Library, Dr. Pat Albano will give a presentation on “Plagues Across History.” From noon to 1 p.m. Monday, April 2, in Multi-media Room B of the Ruth Ann Musick Library, Dr. Fran Davey will discuss “Woman and Roles/Witch Hunts.”

Author Geraldine Brooks will speak on campus at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, as part of the Celebration of Ideas Lecture Series.

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