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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Northwest’s Tower Choir will present its next concert Saturday, March 14, in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts with a a 27-member professional orchestra.(Photo by Darren Whitley/Northwest Missouri State University)

Northwest’s Tower Choir will present its next concert Saturday, March 14, in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts with a a 27-member professional orchestra. (Photo by Darren Whitley/Northwest Missouri State University)

Feb. 24, 2015

Tower Choir to perform March 14 with 27-member orchestra

Dr. Stephen Town

Dr. Stephen Town

The Northwest Missouri State University Tower Choir, with a 27-member professional orchestra, will present a concert of three extraordinary works on Saturday, March 14, in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.

A pre-concert talk will be given by Dr. Jim Eiswert, associate professor of philosophy, at 7:15 p.m. to be followed by the concert at 7:30 p.m.

The concert will feature “Flos Campi” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, a work described as a suite for solo viola, orchestra and wordless chorus. The 20-minute enigmatic work in six movements is played without break from beginning to end, with each movement headed by a superscription taken from the Bible’s “Song of Solomon.” 

“The wordless chorus is used in a cinematic fashion – indeed, the composer was an important creator of the style – and in fact is another web in the entire fabric of sound,” Tower Choir Dr. Stephen Town said. “The work gained legendary, even mythic, status after its premiere, and all orchestral musicians want the opportunity to perform the rarely performed work.”

The technique is imitated in “Luminous Night of the Soul” by Ola Gjeilo, a 10-minute work for chorus, string quartet and piano, which begins the concert. The text is taken from St. John of the Cross with additional words by Charles Anthony Silvestri, best known for his poetic contributions to the choral works of Eric Whitacre.

The concert will conclude with “My Heart is Inditing,” from Coronation Anthem No. 3, by George Frideric Handel, a 10-minute work in the dynastic style of composition that became favored by the royal families of England.

The orchestra will consist of Northwest faculty members Monty Carter, viola solo; Dr. Rebecca Dunnell, flute and piccolo; Dr. Chris Gibson, clarinet and oboe; Elisabeth Dunning, horn; Dr. Bill Richardson, trumpet; Dr. Katy Strickland, percussion; Dr. Charles Badami, celeste, organ and piano; and other professional instrumentalist from Kansas City and St. Joseph.

The concert is made possible by an Improvement of Teaching and Learning grant awarded by Northwest’s Academic Initiative committee.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468