CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – In the summer of 2010, Dr. Korre Foster, Austin Peay State University assistant professor of music, traveled to the eastern European country of Latvia in search of choral music. He went on this journey after meeting Baiba Kelley, a local woman of Latvian descent who yearned to again hear the music of her native country.
“Much of her family moved here during World War II, and I was literally going over there to find music of her uncle’s,” Foster said.
While searching for Latvian music both in and out of the United States, Foster came across a piece titled “Balts Sniedzins,” a holiday carol that translates to “A Gentle Snow is on the Ground.” At 7 p.m. on Dec. 1, the APSU choral program will perform this piece for Kelley and the local community during the APSU music department’s third annual Holiday Dinner.
“It is my distinct pleasure to have the women singers perform this Latvian choral piece at this year’s dinner,” he said.
The annual Holiday Dinner event is a formal, sit-down dinner in the Morgan University Center Ballroom, featuring APSU choral members performing holiday works in English, Latvian, Hebrew and Latin.
“It’s a highlight of the music department’s year,” Foster said. “And there’s music for people that celebrate Christmas, people who celebrate Chanukah, people who celebrate Kwanza and people who just want to be around friends.”
In addition to the Latvian piece, the program will feature holiday works by APSU music professor emeritus Dr. George Mabry, APSU professor of music Dr. Jeffrey Wood, and APSU alumnus Zach Pentecost, as well as a modern variation of “Jingle Bells” and Renaissance carols by the Dutch composer Jan Sweelinck.
The evening will end on a soft, subdued note when APSU assistant professor of violin Dr. Emily Crane joins the choir for a special performance.
Tickets for the dinner are $50, but only 300 spots are available. For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact Foster at 221-7002 or firstname.lastname@example.org.