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Youth Chorus Sings a Farewell Concert

KEENE, N.H. 2/25/02 - The Youth Chorus at Keene State College will perform a farewell concert of Latin, Spanish, German, and American songs on Sunday, March 10.

The concert, which will be the final Youth Chorus performance conducted by Gladys Johnsen at Keene State, will begin at 3 p.m. in the Alumni Recital Hall of KSC’s Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond. Tickets are $7 for the general public and $5 for KSC faculty, staff, students, senior citizens, and youth 17 and under. Call the Box Office at 603-358-2168.

The 50-member chorus will open the afternoon program with an Old German Round, “Abend Stille,” followed by a traditional Israeli folk tune, “Bow, Winds of God,” and the well-known 16th-century English folk song “Greensleeves.” A Shaker Tune will open the second half of the program, which includes two Native American Songs and two American spirituals. Well-known religious songs such as “Gloria in Excelsis” and “Amazing Grace” will be performed along with children’s favorites such as “The Lion and the Unicorn.”

Nancy Harmon, mother of two of the chorus’s young singers, will be a featured singer in G. Gilpin’s “A Child’s Credo” and KSC student Renée Hatch, trumpet, will be featured in “Canta y baila,” a song and dance by P. Drennan.

The chorus also will perform “Prayer of the Children,” written in honor of the children of Sarajevo, and “Birdsong,” written by an unknown child in the Terezin Concentration Camp of Czechoslovakia.

G.D. Elderkin’s “We Are the Light of the World” will be sung with lyrics revised by Johnsen, who started the chorus nine years ago.

Johnsen, an associate professor of music education at Keene State, founded the chorus in 1993. She recently announced that she no longer could maintain the responsibilities of coordinating the Youth Chorus along with teaching a full load of college courses. Johnsen is passing the conductor’s baton to Mary Beth Taylor and Dr. Miriam Goder, professor emeritus of KSC, who will continue the chorus through the Keene Institute of Music and Related Arts (KIMRA). KIMRA has acquired a rehearsal space off campus and will maintain current tuition rates. Any questions regarding the future of the Youth Chorus can be directed to Dr. Goder at 603-357-1599.

The select group of singers in grades 4-9 has performed in New York City at the Eastern Division of the Music Educators’ Association, as well as with national performers Judy Collins, Rita Coolidge, and Tom Chapin. In December the Youth Chorus received a standing ovation when they performed with the Boston Camerata at the Redfern Arts Center.

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