Indiana State University Newsroom

Masterworks Chorale and Terre Haute Children's Choir to perform Sunday

November 30, 2009

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The Indiana State University Masterworks Chorale will be in concert Sunday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. in Tilson Auditorium. Under the direction of Scott Buchanan, director of Choral Activities at ISU, the choir will perform two works by John Rutter.

"Gloria," commissioned and premiered by Voices of Mel Olson in Omaha, Neb. in 1974, is based upon the second section of the Ordinary of the Mass, a hymn of praise that follows the Kyrie. Each movement of the work is exalted, devotional, and jubilant, respectively, with a substantial orchestra comprised of organ, brass, and percussion. The first and third movements of the work are triumphant, and they bookend the ethereal second movement with great exuberance.

Highlighting the concert, however, will be a performance of "Mass of the Children," which will feature the Terre Haute Children's Choir.

"This is a truly beautiful work," Buchanan said. "And we are thrilled to join forces with the Children's Choir. Anita Gambill, their director, has done such a great job getting that organization back on its feet."

This fall, the ISU department of music developed a partnership with the Children's Choir, bringing the group's operations onto the university campus.

"Having the organization back on our campus has been a thrill," Buchanan said. "Not only do they utilize our space for rehearsing, but Anita has allowed some of our music education students to serve as interns. In addition to watching and learning from Anita, they get to lead small group rehearsals, sectionals, and introduce vocal warm-ups. It is a true example of ISU's initiative toward community engagement and experiential learning."

Rutter, an influential and masterful composer of choral works, both sacred and secular, has said that the spirituality of sacred verses and prayers has always been extremely inspiring to him. Growing up up singing church music as a boy soprano, Rutter has said that his "Mass of the Children" was written to give young singers the chance to sing substantial repertoire, similar to opportunities that he was given in his childhood. The work was also his first to be premiered for two years after the sudden death of his son, a young student and singer, and so makes the piece even more poignant and meaningful.

The work gives the children's choir a prominence not seen in other works featuring children, making them as significant as the adult chorus and soloists. The children's choir sings the opening lines, with a joyful and energetic text from English poetry by Thomas Ken. The adult choir enters with the traditional missa brevis Latin text, and the children's chorus intertwines the English poetry with the traditional Latin text of the adult chorus throughout the rest of the work.

Soprano Kara Claybrook and tenor David Mannell will join the ensemble as soloists for the work.

Tickets for the concert are $10 for adults and $5 for K-12 students and can be purchased in advance from the music office, located in the Center for Performing and Fine Arts. Tickets will also be on available at the door. ISU students will be admitted free with a valid student ID. For more information, call the ISU choral music office at 812-237-4590.

Contact: Scott Buchanan, ISU Director of Choral Activities, (812) 237-4590

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or