Behrend Choir concert to cover broad musical spectrum

The musical peaks of Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Dolly Parton may have come in different centuries, but for one afternoon, the three will share the stage. Well, in the metaphysical sense at least.

Selections from Bach, Mozart and Parton will be performed during “Behold a Star,” the Penn State Behrend Chamber Singers and Concert Choir’s fall concert, which will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at First United Methodist Church of Erie, 7th and Sassafras St.

“While Bach seems to have been quite a serious character and may have reacted with disapproval, I firmly believe that Mozart would giggle with delight if he knew he was sharing a concert program with Dolly,” said Gabrielle Dietrich, choir conductor and director of choral programs at the campus.

The goal of the concert, according to Dietrich, is to pair the classical offerings with the contemporary works to help broaden the musical spectrum for attendees. Classical works will be interwoven with traditional spirituals and contemporary offerings, including “Ave maris stella,” a work of current British composer Cecilia McDowall.

“A lot of people find classical music intimidating or unapproachable, and I also believe that a concert needs to meet audience members where they are, even as it aims to broaden their experiences and offer them something new,” Dietrich said. “So, the Mozart piece we will sing is actually like musical sorbet — short, sweet and a little sentimental — and the Bach chorale we sing is a harmonization of a well-known hymn tune with words translated into English.”

Admission to “Behold a Star” is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Dietrich at 814-898-6636.

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Last Updated November 01, 2013