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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 11, 2005

Kantorei Will Present Nature In Music Feb. 25

Kantorei, the top vocal ensemble of the University of Iowa School of Music, will present a free concert under the direction of doctoral conducting student Anne Lyman at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb 25 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Kantorei is a touring ensemble of approximately 30 singers, most of whom are graduate students. One of several major ensembles in the choral department, Kantorei presents four or five concerts on campus each year, tours to off-campus performances and participates in major choral works with the University Symphony. Timothy Stalter is director of choral activities for the UI School of Music.

The program for the Feb. 25 concert will feature an eclectic selection of pieces, most of which represent elements of nature in music. The first set opens with Gerald Finzi's "My Spirit Sang All Day," followed by "Weep You, No More, Sad Fountains" by Rebecca Clarke. Closing this set will be Stephen Chatman's setting of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "There is Sweet Music Here," a poem that celebrates music that "softer falls than petals from blown roses on the grass."

The next set represents the "secunda prattica" (second practice) of the late 16th century in Italy. The new music of the time, the "secunda prattica" emphasized expression of the text and overturned many of the accepted rules of composition. This modern style appeared in the dramatic Italian madrigals of Cipriano de Rore and reached a peak in the work of Claudio Monteverdi, composers whose works form this portion of the program.

The third set features sacred texts that celebrate the Virgin Mary as an embodiment of nature. "Ave Virgo sanctissima" by Francisco Guerrero and two settings of "O viridissima virga" by Hildegarde of Bingen and Janika Vandervelde include such descriptive texts as "Hail, most Holy Virgin, beautiful as the lilies and soft and fragrant as the rose," and "Hail, O greenest branch, spring forth in the airy breezes."

The program ends with a pair of pieces by Reynaldo Hahn that glorify day and night, and Leonard Bernstein's "Make our Garden Grow" from "Candide."

Lyman is currently pursuing a doctorate in choral conducting under Timothy Stalter at the UI School of Music. She holds a musicology degree from the College of Wooster and received a master's degree in choral conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. In addition to conducting, she has performed with professional choirs in Texas, Ohio and most recently in Boston, where she sang with the Cantata Singers, the King's Chapel Choir and Boston Secession. She has also studied and performed early music in England. She is the conductor of the Concert Choir at Cornell College and is director of music at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,