The Southeast Missouri Symphony will join forces with the University Choir and Choral Union to perform Francis Poulenc’s inspiring choral work, “Gloria,” on Tuesday, Nov. 19, in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University.
The concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“We are looking forward very much to this upcoming concert in the Bedell in late November,” said Dr. Sara Edgerton, the conductor of the Southeast Missouri Symphony. “All the to be presented on the program will be uplifting and festive. With moods ranging from quiet tranquility to great joy, this program will have something for everyone! This will be a great way to look ahead to the Thanksgiving and holiday season to come!”
Also on the program will be Ralph Vaughan Williams’ evocative “London Symphony,” as well as Daniel Pinkham’s “Christmas Cantata.” The conductors for this concert will be Southeast faculty members Sara Edgerton (Vaughan Williams) and Barbara Lamont (Poulenc and Pinkham); the soprano soloist in Poulenc’s “Gloria” will be Southeast alumna, Brittany Graham.
The concert will open with a symphonic work by one of the most beloved British composers, Vaughan Williams. Vaughan Williams composed a number of very popular works, including the “Lark Ascending” and “Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis.” His music fuses a late Romantic approach with a love for English folksong. His “London Symphony” was first performed in 1914, as all of Europe was on the brink of World War I. The symphony provides a musical evocation of London itself in the early 1900s. The symphony begins with a depiction of dawn (complete with the Westminster chimes) and goes on to illustrate a favorite London park, Hampstead Heath, on a holiday in August. Subsequent movements depict Bloomsbury Square on a November afternoon; Westminster embankment at night; and finally, twilight and nighttime in London. The overall effect is of exuberant energy and excitement, with contrasting moments of quiet beauty and tranquility.
The second half of the program will open with the American composer Pinkham’s popular “Christmas Cantata.” This short, festive work is for chorus and brass choir, and is based upon traditional texts used in Christmas services. This work will be followed by Poulenc’s famous composition, “Gloria,” for soprano soloist, chorus and orchestra. Poulenc was a notable French composer who lived in the first half of the 20th century. He composed many important works for chamber ensembles and for piano, as well as operas and ballets. His “Gloria” for soprano, large chorus and orchestra, is one of his best-known works. Its mood is energetic, bright and life-affirming, and is interspersed with sections of calmness and reflection.
Soprano soloist, Graham, is the 2019 District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, St. Louis District. She enjoys a very active performing career, with frequent appearances with Opera Theatre St. Louis and Union Avenue Opera. She is also featured as a Young Artist with the St. Louis Symphony’s InUnison Chorus. Graham earned her undergraduate degree in music at Southeast and holds a master’s degree in music from Webster University.
Tickets for the concert are now on sale and can be purchased by visiting the River Campus Box Office during normal office hours, by calling (573) 651-2265 or by visiting RiverCampus.org.