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Choral concert to feature 100-voice ‘Coronation Mass’
4/17/13

The Alfred University (AU) Division of Performing Arts will present a choral concert Friday, April 26 at 7 p.m. in the Alfred Seventh Day Baptist Church, featuring performances by the AU Chamber Singers, AU Chorus, and the Alfred Volunteer Choir Company – close to 100 voices. Admission is free and open to the public.

The choirs are under the direction of Dr. Luanne Crosby, professor of voice and chorus at the University.

The evening’s feature will be the performance of the combined choirs’ rendition of Mozart’s “Mass in C Major, ‘Coronation.’ ” The piece will feature soloists Alexandra Porter, Alicia Atwater White, Jeffrey Thompson, and Dave Toot.

The Chamber Singers and Alfred Volunteer Choir Company will open the concert with a rendition of Ola Gjeilo’s “Ubi Caritas.” Other pieces will include “My Soul’s Been Anchored” by Moses Hogan and a medley from “Les Miserables” arranged by Mac Huff and performed by the AU Chorus.

Some of the evening’s repertoire will be performed by the Chamber Singers while on tour in Italy this June.

Porter, a soprano, holds a master’s degree from Westminster Choir Colleges and has performed in several operas as well as creating her own original compositions. White, a mezzo-soprano, holds a master of vocal performance degree from the Greatbatch School of Music at Houghton College. She has taught middle and high school choir and music classes and currently directs a choir, teaches voice lessons and performs in the professional choir Vox Lumine.

Thompson, a tenor, is a recitalist and oratorio soloist based in Western New York, where he works as the organist and music director at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church in East Aurora as well as an emergency physician at Buffalo General Hospital. Toot, a bass, is a professor of physics and astronomy at AU and has performed in numerous choral events and community theater in the Alfred/Wellsville area.

Also performing in the “Coronation Mass” are Susan Turnquist on oboe; Christopher Foster, assistant professor of music/director of bands at AU, and Sean Locker on trumpets; Laurel Buckwalter, University carillonneur and music technician, on the 23 rank Moller organ; and Chris Frauenhofer on timpani.

The “Coronation Mass” was premiered in Salzburgh on Easter Sunday 1779 when 23-year-old Mozart returned to his hometown as organist and choirmaster at the cathedral. The derivation of the title “Coronations” likely goes back to the coronation of Leopold II in 1791 and that of his successor Franz I in the following year, since Antonio Salieri gave a performance of the “Mass” on both of these occasions.