CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – In 1901, French composer Louis Vierne stunned churchgoers at the Saint-Sulpice Cathedral in Paris with the premier of his organ and choral work, “Messe Solennelle.” The dramatic composition moved many attending the mass that day, and in the century that followed, the work has continued to fascinate choral or organ enthusiasts.
At 5:30 p.m. on April 14, more than 120 singers will join organist Rev. Jared Wilson in a performance of the Kyrie section of this work in the Austin Peay State University Mabry Concert Hall. The performance, which is free and open to the public, is part of the inaugural “The Big Sing” concert event, hosted by the APSU choral activities.
“‘The Big Sing’ is a new creation, with the goal of bringing high performing choirs to campus to sing alongside the APSU choral ensembles,” Dr. Korre Foster, director of choral activities at APSU, said. “This year, we will have the White House High School Choir and the Wilson Central High School Choir join us for an evening of impressive music making.”
The two high school choirs will arrive on campus that morning and spend the day meeting with APSU students and rehearsing for the evening’s performance. In addition to the “Messe Solennelle” piece, which will close the show, the high school students will join the APSU choirs for a performance of British composer Bob Chilcott’s “The Singing Heart” and the Indian choral work, “Balleilakka.”
During the concert, students in the APSU Department of Art’s Digital Media II class will create and project movie clips, live images and real-time drawings onto the architecture of the concert hall. The artists will create images that respond to the choirs as they perform. Choreography by Margaret Rennerfeldt, APSU assistant professor of dance, will also be featured during “Balleilakka.”
The multifaceted evening will begin with individual performances by APSU’s Chamber Singers, the University Choir and Vocal Ease. The high school choirs will join all four University choirs for the final three performances of the evening.
“It’s been a very busy year, and this choral concert will take our students into their next major activity – the opera production two weeks later,” Foster said.
For more information on the “The Big Sing” at APSU, contact Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org.