Autumn is in the air, and that air will soon fill with song when Southern Utah University’s Department of Music presents “An Autumn Choral Concert.” featuring performances by SUU’s Concert Choir, Women’s Choir and Opus this Wednesday, October 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Cedar City’s Heritage Theater.
Conducted by Dr. Kevin L. Baker and Professor Sara Guttenberg, An Autumnal Choral Concert will be an interesting mix of styles and genres of choral music. From the infectious rhythms of African music set for two choirs to classics like Brahms’ “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place” from his Requiem and works by Handel and Mendelssohn, there will be something for every choral fan’s musical palate.
Two interesting works in Wednesday’s performance will be Egil Hovland’s “Saul,” which uses a narrator and chorus to tell the story of God’s confrontation of Saul as a persecutor of Christians through unique sounds and dissonances. Additionally, György Orbán’s “Daemon Irrepit Callidus” discusses the devil’s attempts to influence human behavior. The concert ends with a look at another universality of the human experience: love. Robert Young’s rich setting of Rossetti’s beautiful poetry is lush and interesting, and Vaughan Williams “See the Chariot” is a wedding chorus from his opera Sir John In Love.
Tickets to SUU’s fall choral performance are $6 for Adults, $4 for SUU faculty and staff, and $3 for youth. SUU students are free with a valid I.D. card.
Kevin L. Baker, Ph.D., joined the faculty at Southern Utah University as Director of Choral Activities in the fall of 2011. He directs the Concert Choir and Opus as well as teaches choral conducting, choral techniques and studio voice. He was previously Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Culver-Stockton College, Canton, Missouri. Prior to his appointment at Culver-Stockton College, he was a tenured member of the music department at St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin. A native of Missouri, he received his Bachelor’s degree from Southwest Baptist University and earned a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting and the Ph.D. from the University of Missouri – Columbia. His teaching career has encompassed nearly every educational level from elementary through junior high and high school and to two-year colleges and universities. He has served as Minister of Music for churches in Missouri and conducted community choirs as well. He is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator.
Highly sought after as both a soloist and chamber artist, soprano Sara Guttenberg is a current member of the critically acclaimed chamber choir Seraphic Fire, out of Miami, FL; the Spire Chamber Ensemble of Kansas City, MO; and the Oregon Bach Festival chorus. She has performed and recorded music of multiple vocal genres. As an oratorio soloist, she has received praise for her performances of Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor and St. John Passion, Mendelssohn’sElijah, and the Monteverdi Vespers. She is a featured ensemble soloist on the Naxos recordings of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, which received three Grammys. Guttenberg received her bachelor’s degree in music education and vocal performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her masters’ degrees in vocal performance and choral conducting from the University of Michigan. At Southern Utah University, Guttenberg is currently an adjunct Voice Instructor as well as Director and Choral Conductor of SUU’s Women’s Choir.