Kellogg Community College’s Touring Choir will bring songs of spirit, light, love and passion to Coldwater in May as part of the choir’s Spring 2018 Midwest Concert Tour.
The group’s concert, “Songs of Spirit, Light, Love and Passion,” will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 6, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 27 E. Chicago St., Coldwater. The concert kicks off the College’s spring tour, which includes performances in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The first half of the concert features sacred choral works, including a selection of spirituals, hymns, revivalist and South African praise songs, along with selections from major choral masterpieces including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Requiem” and Johannes Brahms’ “A German Requiem.”
The second half of the concert includes lighter works, from English madrigals and Irish ballads to selections from musical theatre and pop music by the Beatles, as well as a variety of solos from the College’s music faculty and student performers.
Dr. Gerald Case-Blanchard, coordinator of KCC’s Music Program and director of the College’s choirs and vocal arts programming, said the common theme among selections is memories, as each work holds a special place in his musical past.
“Some come directly from my youth – hearing the music of the Beatles being played on the oldies radio station in Philly – whereas others are of my musical training experiences during my time at university,” Case-Blanchard said. “One of my fondest musical memories was singing the baritone solos in Brahms’ ‘A German Requiem’ with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic Orchestra. It was that experience which caused me to program ‘How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place,’ which is from the ‘German Requiem.’”
Other selections were chosen from previous concert tour repertoires, while other works were suggested by choir members.
“They all hold a special place in my heart and in the hearts of many of my seasoned singers,” Case-Blanchard said.
Highlights of the concert include the aforementioned “How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place”; “Pie Jesu” from Webber’s “Requiem”; “The Beatles in Revue,” including songs such as “Michelle,” “All You Need Is Love” and others; and an exhilarating arrangement of the African-American spiritual “John Saw Duh Numbuh,” which Case-Blanchard said is “certain to ignite excitement in both singers and audiences alike.”
Over the past few years, KCC’s Touring Choir embarked on a series of successful national and international tours, performing in locations abroad in Ireland and Italy and closer to home in locations along the East Coast of the U.S. and in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana.
“We have not yet traveled to Wisconsin and Minnesota,” Case-Blanchard said. “Therefore, before we embark on our next international trip – in 2020 we will present concerts in Canada – I thought it would be great to perform in our two neighboring states.”
For more information about KCC choirs and other KCC music initiatives, including opportunities to study music at KCC, contact the College’s Arts and Communication offices at 269-565-7859 or visit www.kellogg.edu/music.
Dr. Gerald Case-Blanchard, coordinator of KCC’s Music Program and director of the College’s choirs and vocal arts programming, is available for comment and can be reached at 269-565-7859 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music at Kellogg Community College
KCC’s Arts and Communication Department offers a robust Music Program including an Associate of Arts degree with a Music concentration and certificates in Music Enrichment and Sacred Music. Additional music opportunities for students and community members offered through the College include individualized voice and instrument lessons, master classes, student recitals, an annual Opera Workshop and other music initiatives, including youth performance camps.
The College also host three residential choirs, including the Branch County Community Chorus, the Concentus Vocal Ensemble and the Kellogg Singers, which perform together as the KCC Choral Union. In addition to performing regularly in its home state of Michigan, the Choral Union has performed nationally at major venues in Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and performed international concert tours of Ireland and Italy in 2012 and 2014, respectively. KCC choirs have opened for several internationally renowned musicians, including Grammy Award-winning musical groups Take 6 and Sweet Honey in the Rock, and regularly collaborate with major musical organizations including the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, the Haydn Festival Orchestra, the Monroe Community Chorale and Symphony and the Sacred Music Festival of Kalamazoo.
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