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Chamber Choir presents world premiere of new cantata by Bruce Adolphe

by Marilou Carlin11/12/2011

Students, faculty and the public are invited to attend a special free concert by the Chamber Choir of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, conducted by Jerry Blackstone, performing a new cantata by composer Bruce Adolphe.   Written for choir, woodwind quintet and percussion, the work will be performed on Sunday, November 20 at 7 p.m. in Stamps Auditorium at the Walgreen Drama Center on North Campus.  No tickets are required.  The world premiere of the cantata will be on Friday, November 18 at a private celebration as part of the School of Social Work 90th Anniversary.

Titled “Reach Out, Raise Hope, Change Society (A Social Justice Cantata),” the work was commissioned by U-M alumni and music aficionados Joan Fisch and Allan Fisch for the 90th Anniversary Celebration for U-M’s School of Social Work (SSW), on November 18.  The cantata was created both to commemorate this important anniversary of the SSW and to encourage the community to think more deeply about justice and how it can be obtained and exercised.

The 35-minute cantata is written in 10 movements, each allowing for a different mood, and is derived from 10 multicultural texts (poems, sayings, proverbs).  SSW students and faculty were invited to submit suggestions for inclusion in the text. 

“The message of this text lifts this piece to a different level,” said Adolphe.  “The cantata is one of the most important works I’ve done.”

Bruce Adolphe is an American composer, pianist and author.  He has written works for Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Sylvia McNaiar and the Beaux Arts Trio, and is the Resident Lecturer and Director of Family Concerts of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.  Among other positions that he currently holds, Adolphe also creates and performs a weekly “Piano Puzzler” segment on the nationally broadcast classical music radio program Performance Today.

Grammy Award-winning conductor Jerry Blackstone is Director of Choirs and Chair of the Conducting Department at the SMTD where he conducts the Chamber Choir, teaches conducting at the graduate level and administers a choral program of 11 choirs.  His students have received first-place awards and been finalists in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions of the American Choral Directors Association biennial National Choral Conducting Awards competition.

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower