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Catawba College to Offer A Musical Celebration of Ralph Vaughan Williams

April 12, 2008

Category: Events, Music


At 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 20, 2008, singers from many of the major choral ensembles in the Salisbury area will unite with the choirs of Catawba College in a concert honoring the 50th anniversary of the death of the great composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. The concert will be held in the cathedral style-architecture and acoustic of the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on the Catawba College campus. 

The concert will feature singers from the Salisbury-Rowan Choral Society, The Concert Choir of Salisbury, The Catawba Chorale, The Catawba Singers and The Catawba Madrigal Singers. The singers will be accompanied by string players from the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra and Adam M. Ward, organist and pianist. The concert will be performed under the baton of Professor Paul E. Oakley, director of choral, vocal and sacred music studies and organist of Catawba College.

Featured soloists in the concert will be Scott McLeod, baritone, and Martha Bartz, mezzo-soprano. Professor MacLeod teaches voices at Catawba College and both he and Ms. Bartz have active performing careers in the extensive art song, oratorio, opera and musical theatre repertory. Both of these "world class" singers bring an extremely high standard of musical excellence with them to the Salisbury concert stage. Ms. Bartz will be featured in music from Vaughan Williams' cantata on war and peace, Dona Nobis Pacem. Professor McLeod will be featured in Dona Nobis Pacem and even more in Vaughan Williams' celebrated setting of George Herbert's beloved poetry, Five Mystical Songs. Additionally, the choruses will sing celebrated anthems, hymns, and part songs of Ralph Vaughan Williams.

Ralph Vaughan Williams is arguably one of Great Britain's most significant composers of all time. With his composer friend Gustav Holst, Vaughan Williams collected and recorded hundreds of folk songs from throughout the British Isles and used those melodies to fashion a unique symphonic vocabulary that became truly British. His work as a masterful composer and as the editor of The English Hymnal spread his fame and his beautiful compositions around the world. The fiftieth anniversary of his death gives us an occasion in Salisbury to salute this great master of music and to sample a small feast of his magnificent works. Admission is free and a freewill offering will be taken to assist with the costs of the performance.


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