The Madison Summer Choir (below) is an auditioned choir of more than 70 voices performing a cappella, piano-accompanied and choral-orchestral works.
When the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music eliminated UW Summer Choir from its budget after 2008, Ben Luedcke (below) “picked up the baton” to ensure that this student and community singing opportunity and tradition were not lost.
Now in its seventh summer, Luedcke continues to conduct the group, open to college students and community members, for just 14 rehearsals over six weeks, culminating in a full concert.
Existing just for this short season, the choir is supported by the singers, friends and businesses in the community, and the audience, as well as the UW-Madison School of Music rehearsal and concert facilities.
For this summer, the concert program features “The Searching Soul: German and Late-English Romanticism.”
The concert will be presented on this coming Saturday evening, June 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Concert Hall of the Mosse Humanities Building on the UW-Madison campus at 455 North Park Street.
Tickets are $15 for the public; $10 for students. They can be purchased in advance (for delivery or will-call) from any choir member, or bought at the door.
The concert will open with two works by Johannes Brahms (below), “Nächtens” (At Night) and “Sehnsucht” (Longing).
Those are followed by three movements by Sir Hubert Parry (below) in “Songs of Farewell (1916–1918)”: “My Soul There Is a Country,” “I Know My Soul Hath Power” and “Never Weather Beaten Sail.”
The second half features two choral works with orchestra. The Madison Summer Choir is the only ensemble performing full-scale choral and orchestral works in the summer in Madison.
“Psalm 42” (1837-38) by Felix Mendelssohn is a cantata consisting of seven movements which include full choir, soprano solo, women’s choir, and a quintet of soprano solo with men’s chorus. Soprano soloist will be Chelsie Propst, who has performed with the choir twice before.
The concert will conclude with “Toward the Unknown Region” (1907) by Ralph Vaughan Williams (below top), a setting of the text by Walt Whitman (below bottom).