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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
December 5, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Faculty of Music

Laurier Singers performing with Grand Philharmonic Choir this Saturday

Oct 13/11

A concert for double choir will offer a delight of vocal interplay this Saturday, when the Laurier Singers Chamber Choir, led by Dr. Lee Willingham, will join the Grand Philharmonic Chamber Singers in the first concert of the season for the Grand Philharmonic Choir.

Music for Double Choir, at First United Church (King and William Streets in uptown Waterloo) will include Mendelssohn motets, Shaker melody, and two gorgeous works by German romantic composer Josef Rheinberger.

"We are delighted to welcome Lee Willingham and the Laurier Singers to collaborate on this wonderful repertoire,” said Mark Vuorinen, artistic director and conductor of the Grand Philharmonic Choir and its Chamber Singers.

“The beautiful and resonant motets of Felix Mendelssohn will be an excellent way to open this program with the combined forces of the GPC Chamber Singers and Wilfrid Laurier's chamber choir.

"The music of Josef Rheinberger isn't often heard in this part of the world, so we are excited to bring our audience this gorgeous music.

Vuorinen describes Rheinberger’s Mass in E Flat and his haunting Abendlied as having “an expansive sonority, lush harmonies and a dramatic spirit.”

Rheinberger was a rebel in his day, refusing to work within the new conservative guidelines of the church. The Catholic authorities wanted composers to suppress their own individuality and emphasize the text. But Rheinberger couldn’t work that way, ignored these guidelines, and was sharply criticized by the powerful Cecilian Society. He dedicated the mass to Pope Leo XIII anyway, and was later knighted to the Order of St. Gregory.

The remainder of the concert features vocal treats from all over the map, including: the stirring Shaker song, Simple Gifts; the hauntingly beautiful Morgen! from Four Last Songs by Richard Strauss; Remember, a setting by Victor Mio of the well-known poem by Christina Rossetti; and With Light Unfailing, by contemporary Waterloo composer Leonard Enns, which was commissioned to celebrate Wilfrid Laurier University’s 100th birthday and which draws text from a speech by Laurier.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for those under 30, and $5 for high school students. They are available at the Centre in the Square box office (519-578-1570) or at the door of the church the day of the performance.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Vuorinen, artistic director, Grand Philharmonic Choir

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