-Felix Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42 and Ralph Vaughan Williams’
Dona Nobis Pacem, A Powerful Plea for Peace--
FLUSHING, NY, May 5, 2009—The Queens College Choral Society and Orchestra will join forces to perform Felix Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42 and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem on Saturday, May 16 at 8 pm in Colden Center Auditorium, under the baton of Music Director James John. The Aaron Copland School of Music is part of the college’s Kupferberg Center for the Visual and Performing Arts.
Written almost 100 years apart, Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42 and Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem are based in part on sacred texts but were premiered in secular settings. Mendelssohn’s work opened the New Year’s Day concert of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in 1838 and is being performed to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth. Vaughan Williams wrote Dona Nobis Pacem for the Huddersfield Choral Society’s centenary, which was celebrated on October 2, 1936. Both works are pleas to heaven. Dona Nobis Pacem calls for peace during the growing political turmoil of the time, while in Psalm 42, one plagued with doubt asks for God’s comfort and solace.
James John, music director of the Queens College Choral Society, is also associate professor and director of choral activities at the Aaron Copland School of Music. Dr. John appears regularly as a guest conductor throughout the United States, has served as Guest Lecturer in conducting at the Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany, and has presented seminars on American choral music in Basel and Stockholm. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the Eastman School of Music.
Soprano soloist for the Mendelssohn is Sharon Eisert, a current master’s student from the Aaron Copland School of Music. Performing the Vaughan Williams is soprano Sherry Overholt and baritone Lee Velta. Sherry Overholt is head of the voice department at the Aaron Copland School of Music. She and her husband, Lee Velta, have enjoyed distinguished operatic careers, appearing in over 300 concerts with Columbia Artists Community Concerts nationally and internationally.
Tickets are $20 and $18, and are available through the Kupferberg Center Box Office at (718) 793-8080 or online at http://kupferbergcenter.org/qcchoral_spring.htm . For directions to Queens College, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/directions.php.