Fort Dodge Choral Society continues its season celebrating singing on Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. in Grace Lutheran Church. The concert, under the direction of Bruce Perry, features two works: the Mid-west premiere of Robert Cohen's "Sing With Me" and Mannheim Steamroller co-founder Jackson Berkey's joyous "Cantate 2000."
Choral Society will be the third group to bring "Sing With Me" to life. Poet Maria Seigenthaler interviewed members of the New Jersey-based Pro Arte Chorale, asking them why they sang. These conversations became the text for Cohen's five-movement work. When asked about his compositions, the composer stated, "Music should tell a story, whether that story is expressed in a literal or abstract form; to take the audience on an emotional and intellectual journey. The means by which I do this draws on many sources primarily 20th Century symphonic, choral and theatrical music. I also employ techniques drawn from minimalism and multimedia with my compositional focus on the creation of striking and memorable melodic and harmonic structures within a primarily tonal framework. Having written a great deal of work to text, I look for a musical approach that takes us to a place beyond the mere wordsthe creation of a musical poetry which both supports and expands the meaning of the underlying text; often juxtaposing elements of pathos, irony and humor; but always striving for accessibility." Cohen composed "Alzheimer's Stories" which Choral Society performed last year.
Although Jackson Berkey is best known as the keyboardist for Mannheim Steamroller, he has an impressive catalogue of choral compositions. "Cantate 2000" will feature the choir and piano duet accompaniment by Perry and Michelle Havlik-Jergens.
Admission to the concert is by season ticket or available at the concert at 211 South 9th Street, Fort Dodge. Ticket prices are $10, $9 for senior citizens and all students are admitted free. For further information, visit FDChoralSociety.org or contact Bruce at (515) 979-5620.