Symphony Orchestra, University Choir, Choral Union to present ‘Five Mystical Songs’


by News Bureau on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 25, 2013 — The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra, University Choir and Choral Union will combine March 12 to present “Five Mystical Songs” by the celebrated English composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams.

The concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

Dr. Timothy Schmidt, bass-baritone, will be the featured vocal soloist in this performance. This concert will also showcase the talents of Concerto and Aria Competition winners, Megan Statler (soprano) and Jace Walz (flute), and the Rising Star Competition winner, Elizabeth Ansberry (violin).

The program will open with the delightful “Impresario Overture” for full orchestra by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Subsequently, the winners of the annual Concerto and Aria and Rising Star Competitions will perform as soloists with the orchestra. Statler will join the orchestra to perform a concert aria, “Voi avete un cor fidele,” by Mozart. Walz will then present the melodious and enchanting “Flute Concerto” by British composer Gordon Jacob. The first half of the concert will conclude with the dazzling Finale to Bruch’s beloved “Violin Concerto,” performed on this concert by Rising Star Competition Winner, Ansberry.

The second half of the concert will feature a selection of beautiful orchestral and choral compositions, written by British composers Frederick Delius and Vaughan Williams. Several short, characteristic works by Delius for full orchestra will be presented, including the lively “Marche Caprice,” the enchanting “Summer Evening,” and the famous “On Hearing the First Cuckoo of Spring.” The concert will conclude with a performance of Vaughan Williams’ “Five Mystical Songs,” for bass-baritone, choir and orchestra. Composed by Vaughan Williams in the early part of the 20th century, these songs are settings of poems from a 1633 collection by the British poet, George Herbert. The texts are of a reflective nature and conjure up images of Easter, love and light, all in a delicate, ethereal musical setting by Vaughan Williams. Timothy Schmidt, Department of Music faculty, will be the bass-baritone soloist in this work.

The Southeast Missouri Symphony sponsors two competitive young artist competitions each year: a pre-collegiate Rising Star Concerto Competition (now in its third year) and the collegiate Concerto and Aria Competition (now in its 21st year). The Concerto and Aria Competition is open to all music majors and minors who are currently enrolled at Southeast Missouri State University. Statler and Walz, this year’s winners, already have impressive credits to their names. Statler was most recently heard on stage at Southeast as Suor Angelica in Puccini’s opera of that name. Walz has recently performed as a member of the Missouri All-Collegiate Orchestra and will perform at the National Flute Convention in New Orleans, La., this summer.

The Rising Star Competition is open to all high school string players who wish to compete for the opportunity to perform as a soloist with the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra. Students interested in this event were required to submit a preliminary application and tape of their performance; nine finalists from Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois were selected as finalists. Ansberry, winner of this year’s Rising Star Competition, has appeared in master classes with such artists as David Halen and Miles Hoffman, and was a featured soloist in the 2012 Spring into Dance performances at the River Campus. 

“This concert will have great variety of mood, color, and instrumentation,” said Dr. Sara Edgerton, conductor of the Southeast Missouri Symphony. “We are very excited to present the amazing talents of the young soloistsᾰsoprano, flute, and violinᾰon the first half of the program, as well as the beautiful, atmospheric music by Delius and Vaughan Williams on the second half. This concert will be a wonderful way to welcome in the spring time, and enjoy the spellbinding sounds of the orchestra and choirs in the beautiful Bedell Performance Hall.”

Conductors for this concert will be Edgerton and Dr. Peter Durow.

Tickets are on Sale Now. 

Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or online at