The Philharmonic Chorale, in residence at Illinois Central College, will be completing its 90th year as a local performing group with its presentation of its annual Spring Concert on Sunday, May 17, at 3 p.m., in the Performing Arts Center, ICC East Peoria Campus. The Philharmonic Chorale is directed by J. Michael Morris and accompanied by Carol Spayer. They will be joined by special guest Larry Harms on clarinet for several of the pieces.
The concert opens with Handel’s exciting Sing Unto God from his Judas Maccabeus oratorio, which was written in the summer of 1746 in London, and continues with two more pieces from the great masters: Palestrina’s quietly mournful motet, Super Flumina, and Mattei’s complex, yet joyful Beatus Vir. Also included in this opening section is Z. Randall Stroope’s stirring and powerful Lamentations of Jeremiah, where one can literally hear the loud, anguished cries at the destruction of the Hebrew temple in Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians.
The Chorale continues with three American folk tunes that have a “heaven bound” theme: Hark I Hear the Harps Eternal, arranged by Alice Parker; A City Called Heaven, by Dwight Bigler; and Walk on up to Heaven, which is based on the traditional folk song, I Got Shoes, but with a few interesting surprises thrown in by composer Gwyneth Walker.
In the final two sections, the chorale returns with Lauridsen’s delicate and wistful French piece, Dirait-on, and the humorous selection, Soldier, Soldier, Won’t You Marry Me? The final piece in the concert is Englishman John Rutter’s inspirational arrangement of When the Saints Go Marching In, which includes an audience sing-along.
The Chorale would like the audience to join them, following the concert, for a cookies and punch reception in the studio theater of the Performing Arts Center.
Tickets can be purchased online at ArtsAtICC.com or by calling the ICC Performing Arts Center box office at (309) 694-5136.
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