The NMU Arts Chorale will travel to Houghton to perform with Michigan Tech and other collegiate choirs. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Rozsa Center. They will be accompanied by the MTU orchestra in a joint performance of Ēriks Ešenvalds” ‘Whispers on the Prairie Wind.” The piece will be conducted by Jerry Blackstone, professor of music and director of choral activities at the University of Michigan.
“Ēriks Ešenvalds is a Baltic composer who has become very popular in the last five years for his ethereal, challenging, pan-tonal choral works for a cappella choir,” wrote Erin Colwitz, director of choirs at NMU. “The NMU Arts Chorale has been learning large work for chorus and orchestra since the semester started in August and look forward to performing it with MTU and the other colleges.”
Colwitz said Ešenvalds’ most recent work explores new tone colors with the orchestra by using a harmonica to create the sounds of the prairie in Whispers. The text is a combination of poems and stories written by various authors. The first movement text is taken from Lakota legend and, like the remaining five movements, describes what our early settlers would have encountered "on the prairie,” or in this case, Nebraska.
Jared Anderson, associate professor and director of choral activities at MTU extended the invitation to Colwitz and the Arts Chorale last spring. Anderson and MTU received a grant to program this piece and bring Blackstone to the Keweenaw to work with the choirs for the performance.
Tickets are available at rozsa.mtu.edu for $6 for children and $19 for adults.