Release Date: March 9, 2009
KSU Chamber Singers sing into the spirit
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KENNESAW, Ga.—The Kennesaw State University Chamber Singers will perform a contemporary, avant-garde composition by David Maslanka called “A Litany for Courage and the Seasons” at the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center at 8 p.m. March 17. Leslie Blackwell, director of choral activities and associate professor of music and music education, will conduct the Chamber Singers. The KSU Women’s Chorus, conducted by Alison Mann, assistant professor of choral music education, will also perform that evening.
The KSU Chamber Singers is a small ensemble of 24 members that was formed about 11 years ago. Blackwell calls them a wonderful and engaging group of talented students.
“I have not conducted ‘Litany’ in 10 years, so this is an anniversary of sorts for me,” says Blackwell. “Some of the students from the first performance who were integral to its conception are returning for this concert, which is very exciting. Now, it’s interesting to see how the current singers are bringing a new perspective.”
Ten years ago, the “Litany” was the basis for Blackwell’s dissertation, a four-year-long process which culminated into her doctorate about Maslanka and his work. Her first group of students went through the creative process with her and presented the work as a lecture recital at KSU. Today’s student performers are more focused on the practical side of the performance.
Blackwell explains the piece as a trio for voices, clarinet and vibraphone. Using the four seasons as metaphors for the cycles of life, Maslanka takes the listener on a spiritual journey. The first movement is called the “Sleep of Poets,” which leads the audience from the conscious to the unconscious through dreams. The second movement is based on the life of St. Francis of Assisi. Blackwell describes this process as “letting go and listening to one’s inner self.” The text by Richard Beale, which Blackwell calls “difficult and intriguing,” will be printed in the program.
John Lawless, KSU director of percussion studies, will play the vibraphone and Ted Gurch, KSU artist-in-residence, will play the clarinet.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the KSU box office. For more information, call 770-423-6650 or go to www.kennesaw.edu/arts.
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A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 21,000 from 142 countries. The third-largest university in Georgia, Kennesaw State offers more than 65 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education and business.
The KSU College of the Arts is one of only four Georgia institutions to have achieved full national accreditation for all of its arts programs.