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Release: Oct. 13, 2000

Camerata features works based on works by Milton, Whitman Oct. 29

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Camerata Singers, one of the major choral ensembles at the University of Iowa School of Music, will present works based on texts by two of the major poets of the English language -- John Milton and Walt Whitman -- when they present a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert, under the direction of UI School of Music faculty member Richard Bloesch, will feature guest performances by several well known Iowa City musicians, including violinist Doris Preucil, co-founder of the Preucil School of Music, and cellist David Evenchick, who teaches at the Preucil School and plays in the Cedar Rapids Symphony.

A mixed choral ensemble of about 60 voices, Camerata includes both UI students and members of the local community. The group is known for performances that bring to light unfamiliar choral works of significant interest and value.

"Blest Pair of Sirens," based on a poem by Milton, will introduce music of the relatively unknown English composer Hubert Parry. Originally scored for chorus and orchestra, it will be performed with organ accompaniment, played by UI visiting faculty member Robert Triplett.

A more familiar English composer, Ralph Vaughn Williams, is represented on the program by a little known early work, "Toward the Unknown Region," based on a text by Whitman. For this work the keyboard arrangement of the composer’s orchestral accompaniment will be played by pianist Rose Chancler, UI School of Music staff accompanist.

Also on the program are works by the contemporary Hungarian composer Gyorgy Orban, whose work is virtually unknown in the United States. Camerata will perform three pieces: "Agnus Dei" for double choir, organ and trumpet with Triplett and trumpeter Brian Umlah, a senior performance major in the School of Music; "Daemon" for unaccompanied choir; and "Farewell" for chorus and piano, with pianist Michael Porter, the Camerata staff accompanist.

Beethoven -- certainly one of the most recognized of all composers -- will be represented by a group of rarely performed arrangements of English folk songs, scored for solo voices, violin, cello and piano. The instrumental parts will be played by Preucil, Evenchick and Bloesch performing the piano part. Vocal soloists will be soprano Marie Von Behren, a private voice teacher in Iowa City; tenor Timothy Stalter, the UI director of choral activities; and baritone John Muriello, a voice faculty member at the UI School of Music.

Bloesch received his doctorate in choral conducting and choral literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. He 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 he held the national chair of the Repertoire and Standards Committee for Colleges and Universities in the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). He is co-author of an annotated bibliography of 20th-century choral music that was published by the ACDA.

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