“Music at the Edge of the Earth” by the SOU Chamber Choir and SOU Concert Choir
by Tyler Jasper
Ashland, Ore. – The Music program of the Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University presents the SOU Chamber Choir and SOU Concert Choir on Sunday, June 8 at 3:00 p.m. in the SOU Music Recital Hall.
Under the direction of Dr. Paul French, and accompanied by pianist Jodi French, both choirs celebrate the music of the Baltic Countries. “Music at the Edge of the Earth: Music from the Baltic States” features folk music from throughout the region, including music by the award-winning composers Erik Esenvalds, Ola Gjeilo and Veljo Tormis.
Dr. Paul French, director of choral and vocal studies at SOU said that ‘Music From the Edge of the Earth’ “captures the haunting melodies and sense of space one experiences in Baltic lands. I am particularly pleased to be performing large selections of pieces by the award-winning Estonian composer, Erik Esenvalds. Esenvalds is quickly taking the choral world by storm with his lush harmonies and sensitive text settings combining to create works of great warmth and beauty.”
“My personal favorite in this concert is called ‘A Drop in the Ocean,’ which combines St. Francis’ beautiful prayer for peace with the moving words of Mother Teresa,” said French. “Written for 10-voice choir a cappella, this is a stunning piece of music.”
“I have wanted to do a concert of Baltic music ever since first hearing the rather mystical sounding music of Arvo Pärt, which I love. Baltic music has a powerful history, helping to win independence for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, between 1987 and 1991 during the ‘singing revolution,’” commented French. “Groups of people, up to 20,000 at a time would get together and sing in spontaneous mass demonstrations. I have always found the combination of folk and classical elements to be very powerful and love ethnic music of all kinds. Having the opportunity to present this concert which includes a boisterous, joyful Norwegian work to a ridiculously funny parody of Scandinavian music, folk dance arrangements, jazz ballads and so much more….it’s just a delight!”
Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for senior citizens, and free to full-time students. The Performing Arts Box Office is located in the Theatre Arts Building lobby. Box office hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and two hours prior to each performance. Tickets can be purchased with a credit card over the phone by calling 541-552-6348 or online at sou.edu/performingarts. Contact the box office for discounts offered to SOU alumni, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute participants and SNAP/Oregon Trail cardholders.