The Fairmont State University Collegiate Singers and Chamber Choir, under the direction of Dr. Sam Spears, and the FSU Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Valarie Huffman, will present a joint concert on Thursday, March 11.
Special guest soloist for the concert will be FSU piano professor Dr. Mary Lynne Bennett. The theme for the evening's concert is "Music of America," which entails music composed by Americans and traditional spiritual music. The concert will be held in Wallman Hall Theatre at 8 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
Highlights of the Collegiate Singers portion of the concert include Aaron Copland's "Zion's Walls," William Billings' Revolutionary War hymn "Chester" and concluding with an arrangement of the traditional American hymn "Amazing Grace." The Chamber Choir's portion will feature traditional spirituals set by American arrangers including Alice Parker and Robert Shaw.
The Wind Ensemble will perform three works also by American composers. They will open with William Schuman's overture setting of Billings' "Chester," followed by Bennett performing Louis Moreau Gottschalk's "Celebre Tarantelle." The third work will be one of John Philip Sousa's favorite works. Ironically, not a march, "La Reine De La Mer (The Queen of the Sea)" is a setting of three concert waltzes that Sousa composed in 1886 for the wife of the Secretary of the Navy.
Concluding the concert, the choirs and the wind ensemble will combine forces to perform Aaron Copland's "The Promise of Living" from his opera "The Tender Land." Bringing the concert to full circle, "The Promise of Living" contains excerpts of "Zion's Walls" and culminates with a message of hope and optimism.