Choral Union Begins Spring Rehearsals Jan. 20

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 9, 2003 — The Southeast Missouri State University Choral Union, the area’s largest and most renowned community choir, will begin its spring rehearsal schedule on Tuesday, Jan. 20, for a inspiring May 4 concert entitled, “Feel the Spirit.”

The program will feature John Rutter’s new work, “Feel the Spirit,” David Fanshawe’s “Hymn for World Peace” (from “African Sanctus”) and will culminate with Mack Wilberg’s exciting new unpublished spiritual, “I’m Runnin’ On.”  Also featured on the concert will be soloists Heather Brooks and Lori Shaffer, plus the Jackson Middle School Choir, directed by Tyson Zahner.  Rehearsals will be held on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. in Brandt Music Hall.

The Choral Union is a non-auditioned, “open membership” choir that draws singers from the area-wide community.  The 100-plus voice choir specializes in the performance of major choral/orchestral works, and has such works to its credit as Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” Haydn’s “Creation,” Vaughan Williams’ “In Windsor Forest,” and most recently, Handel’s “Messiah.”

John Egbert, director of the Choral Union, said, “This program will be one of the most popular we have ever done–this is wonderful, energetic, singable literature, and most people know it.  Rutter’s new cycle of spirituals, ‘Feel the Spirit’ is the foundation of the program, and contains such well-known spirituals as, “Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho,” “Steal Away,” “Deep River,” “Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit,” and others.  The “Hymn for World Peace” (“African Sanctus”) was written for choir, orchestra, soloist, and children’s choir by David Fanshawe, who spent four years living and studying in Kenya.  Mack Wilberg, one of America’s most popular and prominent choral arrangers, has provided the Choral Union with yet another unpublished work, “I’m Runnin’ On,” written for choir, orchestra and soloist.

Anyone interested in singing in the Choral Union or wanting additional information is encouraged to contact Egbert at 651-2342.

“It’s a very simple concept,” Egbert said.  “We are a community choir, and we are always looking for community singers.  While we are interested in anyone who wants to sing, we are especially interested in recruiting more men.  As has always been the case with this group, there are no fees and there is no audition for membership.  It’s really quite the deal–come sing some of the world’s greatest choral music, just for the fun of it.  We have a great time.

“The Choral Union/Orchestra performances have become some of the most important cultural events in our community in recent years, and have provided some dramatic musical experiences.  This program is shaping up to be one of the most popular and sensational concerts yet.  If you have thought about joining the Choral Union, this is the semester to give it a shot,” he said.