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Bienen School Winter Choral Concerts to Raise Voices in Song

Upcoming events to feature Northwestern University student groups and guest artists

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal EnsembleUniversity Singers and a guest appearance by the early music ensemble Piffaro are among the groups who will lift their voices and their period instruments in song this winter at Northwestern University.

Northwestern’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music will present a variety of choral events this season, which will take place at Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place; Alice Millar Chapel, 1870 Sheridan Road; and Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, as noted.

A Jan. 24 pre-concert discussion and musical program that follows, featuring the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble and the guest ensemble Piffaro, are part of Northwestern’s annual Evelyn Dunbar Early Music Festival. The festival was founded in 1998 through a generous gift of Ruth Dunbar Davee, in memory of her sister Evelyn. Its purpose is to combine informed performance and scholarly inquiry.

A March 6 program featuring the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble will include the Midwest premieres of Ēriks Ešenvalds’ “Seneca’s Zodiac” and Santa Ratniece’s “Horo horo hata hata.”

WINTER 2015 CHORAL PROGRAMS

• The Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble will perform with early music ensemble Piffaro at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, at Alice Millar Chapel. Piffaro is an internationally acclaimed Renaissance wind band that brings its exotic menagerie of early instruments for a weeklong campus residency. Their residency concludes with this performance of Kile Smith’s “Vespers,” inspired by the musical flowering of the Lutheran Reformation. A 6:30 p.m. pre-concert discussion with composer Kile Smith and conductor Donald Nally will take place at Alice Millar’s Vail Chapel. The pre-concert discussion and performance that follows are presented in collaboration with the Evelyn Dunbar Early Music Festival. Both are free and open to the general public.

• Choir director Stephen Alltop will lead the Alice Millar Chapel Choir, the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and organist Eric Budzynski in the Alice Millar Birthday Concert at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at Alice Millar Chapel. The program will feature the “Grand Concerto” for organ and orchestra by Stephen Paulus, which combines the chapel’s 100-rank Aeolian Skinner pipe organ with a full palette of colorful instrumental timbres. Choral works by Eric Whitacre and Mischa Zupko will be performed. This event is free and open to the general public.

• Donald Nally, Northwestern’s director of choral organizations, will lead the Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble during a “Contemporary Latvia -- Ešenvalds and Ratniece” concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 6, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The evening will include the Midwest premieres of Ēriks Ešenvalds’ “Seneca’s Zodiac” and Santa Ratniece’s “Horo horo hata hata,” which offer contrasting views of the two contemporary Latvian composers. Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

• Northwestern’s Women’s Chorus will present “Music of the Northern Horizon” at 

3 p.m. Sunday, March 8, at Lutkin Hall. Conducted by Bienen School graduate student Christopher Walsh, the chorus will perform works by Rautavaara, Ešenvalds, Gjeilo, Tormis and Rehnqvist. This event is $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

• The University Singers will present “Incantations” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 9, at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Bienen School faculty member Emily Ellsworth will conduct a program featuring G. B. Martini’s “Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina” and Gary Kulesha’s “Shaman Songs.” Tickets are $6 for the general public and $4 for students with valid IDs.

For more information, call the Bienen School of Music Concert Management Office at 847-491-5441 or visit www.pickstaiger.org. To order tickets, call the Bienen School Ticket Office at 847-467-4000 or visit www.pickstaiger.org.

NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY’S ARTS CIRCLE DRIVE 

Northwestern’s Arts Circle Drive has reopened for vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The road, drive-up handicap access to Arts Circle Drive venues, the pedestrian path at the lakefront and all sidewalks are now open for public use. New improvements to the South Beach Garage have also eliminated the need to use the stairways since both levels of the two-story parking structure are now accessible to persons with disabilities for easy access to Bienen School of Music venues. Additional parking is also available in the new Segal Visitors Center at 1841 Sheridan Road. For more information, call (847) 491-5441 or visit www.pickstaiger.org.

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