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Fall Concert Series Continues

December 5, 2013

Sax sectionOur Performing Arts department’s Fall Concert Series concludes this weekend with four exciting free and open-to-the-public performances from our talented student music ensembles, including our Orchestra, All-College Choir, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Chorus and Chamber Singers, Gospel Choir and Concert Band. Concerts will be either in Drexel’s Main Auditorium (3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia) or the Mandell Theater (33rd and Chestnut Streets). The University Orchestra and All-College Choir concert will take place Friday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Drexel’s Main Auditorium, marking the debut of the Orchestra’s new conductor Rosalind Erwin. Our new Maestro will conduct powerful music including Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” and George Bizet’s infamous “Orchestral Suite No. 1” from the opera “Carmen.” The All-College Choir will then present a concert of holiday songs from the United States, England, The Middle East and Africa under the direction of Music Professor Scott Bacon. 

“The All-College Choir will be performing a concert of Holiday music from many different cultures and of many different styles,” says Bacon. “It will be a concert that will be both fun to perform for the singers and fun for the audience.” 

On Saturday, Dec. 7th, Drexel’s vocal jazz ensemble Naturally Sharp will perform selections from the 1920s to the present at 3 p.m. in the Mandell Theater. The ensemble says that the afternoon program includes “anything that swings” – exciting vocal jazz pieces drawn from radio, film and stage. Later that evening, the Gospel Choir will present their annual “Singing from the Psalms” concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Mandell Theater. Under the direction of Reverend Gregory Ross, the program features traditional and contemporary gospel selections, including several of Ross’ own original pieces, as well as works by Malcolm Williams, Hezekiah Walker, Dr. Kevin Carter and Earl Bynum. 

On Sunday, Dec. 8, the University Chorus and Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Steven Powell will present a performance featuring Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” for chorus, keyboard, harp and percussion. Composed in 1965, “Chichester Psalms” is a hopeful and tonal work, merging together Christian choral traditions with Hebrew text, culminating in a beautiful call for peace.  “It's always exciting to perform a work with the combination of high energy and beauty of the Chichester Psalms,” says Dr. Powell.

Each term, the 60-voice University Chorus performs traditional concert choir literature, a cappella and with instrumental accompaniment. This year, the University Chorus will present a selection of music by American composers Sunday, Dec. 8 at 3:00 p.m. in the Main Auditorium. Selections include Norman Dello Joio’s “A Jubilant Song,” Randall Thompson’s “Alleluia,” and Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium,” as well as spirituals “Joshua fit de battle of Jericho,” “Let me Fly,” and “There is a Balm in Gilead.” The Chamber Singers will also perform Renaissance music by Thomas Morley, Orlando di Lasso, Thomas Greaves and John Bennet.

Also on Sunday December 8th, the Drexel University Concert Band, comprised of over 70 Drexel students under the direction of Dr. Wesley Broadnax will, present “An American Celebration,” a concert focused on celebrating the rich history of our country.  “In the wake of several recent national tragedies, we are to be reminded of the freedoms we all enjoy each day, as well those who work each day to protect this great nation,” says Dr. Broadnax.  

This concert will be on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. in the Mandell Theater. Musical selections will include: Morton Gould’s “American Salute” based on the Civil War tune “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”; Frank Ticheli’s “An American Elegy” in tribute to the Columbine shooting incident; Charles Ives’ “Variations on America” based on “My Country Tis of Thee,” Henry Fillmore's “His Honor,” William Himes’ “Amazing Grace,” and closing the concert with John Williams’ “The Cowboys” from the 1972 motion picture that starred John Wayne.  For questions or information, please contact 215-895-ARTS.