RiverChor presents “Heaven, Somewhere” on November 12

RiverChor Community Choir is pleased to present their fall concert on Sunday, November 12 at 2:00pm at Zion Lutheran Church, 439 3rd Ave S in Clinton.  The group, made up of approximately 40 singers from the Gateway Area, is under the direction of Karl Wolf, with Christine Holmer as accompanist.  Admission to the concert is free, offerings are welcome and appreciated.  

Entitled “Heaven, Somewhere”, the concert will explore several genres of songs relating to the theme. The anthem “At The Round Earth’s Imagined Corners” by Williametta Spencer is a setting of a poem by the famous English poet John Donne and features both strident sounds reminiscent of trumpets, and gentle flowing text. Spencer is an American composer, musicologist, and teacher. She received the Southern California Vocal Association National Composition Award for this composition.

“If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments” is an elegant setting of John 14:15-17a by one of the most significant English composers of the High Renaissance, Thomas Tallis.  The motet “Ave Verum Corpus” was written for the Feast of Corpus Christi by W. A. Mozart in 1791 for his friend Anton Stoll who was the church musician of St. Stephan in Baden bei Wien. Johannes Brahms competes this historical trio with his setting of “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place” (Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen). One of the most well known and beautiful works of Brahms, this setting of a portion of Psalm 84 is from the fourth movement of his famous German Requiem.

A favorite of the choir, “Give Me Jesus”, arranged by Larry L. Fleming for his series “Three About Jesus”, showcases all the sections of the choir, coming together in rich chords with a soaring climax.  Josephine Poelinitz’s arrangement of “A City Called Heaven” challenges the choir with the role of accompanist to a gospel solo. 

You’ll be tapping your toes to two selections arranged by William Dawson, one of the most significant arrangers of African-American Spirituals. He began his teaching career in the Kansas City public school system, followed by a tenure with the Tuskegee Institute from 1931–1956. While there he developed the Tuskegee Institute Choir into an internationally renowned ensemble.  “Soon Ah Will Be Done” pairs a steady droning beat with punctuated dynamics, while “Ain’a That Good News” is a straight out cheerful proclamation.  Houston Bright’s “I Hear A Voice A-Prayin’” rounds out this set, listen as each new theme is introduced and then returns in a musical palindrome.

Rounding out the concert will be solos and ensembles put together by members of the choir.  RiverChor manager Brooke Logan remarks, “While we enjoy singing as a group, it’s a special treat to hear our friends perform music they are passionate about.  I’m excited to hear what they’ve worked up to share with us.”

Community members are encouraged to join in singing when rehearsals for Clinton’s annual Messiah resume on Monday, November 13, 7-9 pm at First Presbyterian Church in Clinton.  The Messiah performance will take place on December 17.