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Release: Immediate

Camerata Singers will present annual spring concert at Zion Lutheran Church May 10

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Camerata Singers from the University of Iowa School of Music will present their annual spring concert at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 10 in Zion Lutheran Church, 310 N. Johnson St. in Iowa City.

Camerata is directed by Richard Bloesch from the UI School of Music faculty. Most of the May 10 concert will be conducted by choral conducting graduate student Eric Holtan with Bloesch conducting one piece. The concert will be free and open to the public.

The concert will open with the "Gloria" portion of Antonin Dvorak's Mass in D major. Camerata will perform the infrequently heard original version of the Mass, scored for chorus, soloists and organ. Soloists from Camerata will be soprano Marie von Behren, alto Melanie Jacobson, tenor John Des Marais and bass J.S. Endres. The important organ part will be performed by UI doctoral student Adrienne Cox, who is also associate organist at Zion.

A chamber choir made up of members of Camerata together with singers from Kantorei -- another choral ensemble from the UI School of Music -- will perform the poignant a-cappella final movement of 16th-century composer Leonard Lechner's setting of the passion story from the Bible.

The piece conducted by Bloesch will be the "Stabat Mater" of 19th-century German composer Josef Rheinberger. Camerata will be accompanied by organ and a string ensemble for this piece, composed in 1884 in fulfillment of a vow. The composer promised to write a "Stabat Mater" if an open sore on his hand, from which he had suffered for 10 years, would improve. It did, and Rheinberger wrote the piece soon after.

Handel's anthem "Let Thy Hand be Strengthened," written for the 1727 coronation of George II as King of England, will also be performed with a string ensemble. Two shorter works, a setting of Psalm 150 by Brazilian composer Ernani Aguiar and an arrangement of the African-American spiritual "Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal," will be performed without accompaniment.

The concert will conclude with "O, Clap Your Hands" by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Organ and a brass ensemble will accompany this setting of Psalm 47, a text for Ascension that includes the text "God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet."

One of the official choral ensembles at the UI School of Music, Camerata is made up of both UI students and community members. The group includes approximately 60 singers.

Holtan is currently completing a master's degree at the UI after four years of high school teaching in Minnesota. He will enroll in the doctoral choral conducting program at the UI next fall.

Bloesch teaches the history of choral literature in the UI School of Music, conducts the Camerata Singers and advises doctoral students. He is CD review editor for the Choral Journal and the co-author of an annotated bibliography of 20th-century choral music that was recently published by the American Choral Directors Association.