Belleville Philharmonic to present Choral Classics

News-DemocratMarch 26, 2014 

The Belleville Philharmonic Chorale and Orchestra will present a "Choral Classics" concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at Lindenwood University-Belleville Auditorium.

The concert will include four works:

* Three Hugarian folk songs by Matyas Seiber. "These are colorful, lighted miniatures that show the ligthearted folk spirit of the Hungarian people," music director Robert Charles Howard said in program notes.

* Selections from "Frostiana" by Randall Thompson. These are a masterful setting of well loved poems by Robert Fronst, including "The Road Not Taken," "Stopping by Wood on a Snowy Evening" and "Choose Something Like a Star."

"These pieces are often performed with piano," Howard said. "This concert will offer a unique opportunity to hear them sung with Randall Thompson's rich orchestrations."

* Liebeslieder Waltzes by Johannes Brahms. "These lovely pieces were completed in 1869 -- two years after the Belleville Philharmonic began giving concerts."

They will feature a number of soloists from the chorale: sopranos Donna McKelvey, Barbara Compton and Robin Howard. Compton will also sing with Teresa Schmidt. Michael Kimbrell will do double duty as tenor and baritone. Steve Schmidt will also sing baratone and Ted Cook will sing a pair of tenor solos. Gail Long and Carol Werner will play the piano duet accompaniment.

* Michael Harp, "an outstanding boy spoprano," will join the orchestra and chorale for Leonard Bernstein's powerful and touching Chichester Psalms.

"This American Masterpiece embodies all the lyric figure, rhythmic energy and excitement of the composer of "West Side Story."

Harp is the son of Terry and Mary Harp, of Belleville. He has performed in 10 productions at The Muny in St. Louis, portrayed Michael Darling in "Peter Pan" at Touhill Performing Arts Center, toured with The Muny Kids, and has performed in commercials for numerous companies. Next up, he will perform the role of Kurt in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's "Sound off Music" April 25-May 18.

Howard will give a pre-concert lecture, "From Poetry into Music," at 2:45 p.m.

Tickets to Sunday's concert are $15 general admission, $12 for age 55-plus and active military, $7 for students. They can be purchased in advance online at bellevillephilharmonic.org (with a service fee), or at the door.

Lindenwood Auditorium is at 2600 West Main St. in Belleville.

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