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Kenyon College Chamber Singers to perform at First Presbyterian


The Kenyon College Chamber Singers will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church, 102 Ann St.

Conducted by Benjamin Locke, the choir consists of 48 undergraduates chosen by competitive audition and is Kenyon's premier touring ensemble, according to a news release.

The New York Concert Review applauded the artistry of the ensemble, writing that “the young members of the chamber singers ... retain the proper lightness to navigate the translucent textures of Sweelinck’s “Cantate Domino” and Palestrina’s “Sicut Cervus... Focused intently on the conductor, the singers kept their audience hanging on every word.”

The program will include an eclectic mix of a cappella choral repertoire. A centerpiece will be Johannes Brahms’ motet “Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Mühseligen?” (“Why Is Light Given to Those in Misery?”), with other compositions by composers Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Joan Szymko, Moses Hogan, Frank Ticheli, Alice Parker, and Juhani Komulainen.

The ensemble is noted for its regular inclusion of music from South Africa, which this year includes “Shilohini,” a Tsonga folk song about the awaited return of loved ones lost at sea, the news release said.

Members of Chamber Singers come from 16 states as well as Egypt and the United Kingdom, according to the news release. A minority of the singers have declared music as their academic major, with the rest choosing fields such as neuroscience, history, biology, physics, psychology, political science, and English, among others.

Locke is in his 39th year at Kenyon. He directs the Kenyon Community Choir, teaches music theory, conducting and voice, and is also musical director of the Knox County Symphony, based in Mount Vernon, Ohio.  He has written several research articles on the choral music of Johannes Brahms and has published transcriptions and arrangements of South African folk songs

Kenyon College is Ohio's oldest private college at 199 years.

Fayetteville, Kenyon College, music, First Presbyterian Church