Thursday July 31 7 pm at the Waunakee High School Performing Arts Center 301 Community Drive, Waunakee.
The Waunakee Community Band in concert
Thursday July 31 7 pm at Rennebohm Park, 115 North Eau Claire Avenue, Madison
The Capitol City Band presents an evening concert,
Thursday July 31 7:30 pm at UW Music Hall, 925 Bascom Mall, Madison (repeated at 7:30 pm on 8/1 and 8/2 and at 3 pm on 8/3).
The Madison Savoyards present Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Princess Ida”
Friday August 1 7:30 pm at Christ Presbyterian Church 914 E. Gorham, Madison (repeated on 8/3 at 3 pm at Covenant Presbyterian Church 926 South Segoe Road, Madison_
The Isthmus Vocal Ensemble
When conductor Scott MacPherson convened some of Madison’s top singers in 2002, he had no way of knowing that the newly formed Isthmus Vocal Ensemble would begin one of Madison’s most anticipated summer musical traditions.
Now in its 13th year, the ensemble — a professional-level choir of approximately 60 singers — brings new life to over 500 years of choral music. Amazingly, the choir continues to do it all within a brief two-week rehearsal period. This intense spirit of camaraderie produces a singular remarkable experience, year after year.
Madison-area audiences have two opportunities to hear the 2014 program. The traditional Friday night concert takes place on at 7:30 p.m. on August 1 at Christ Presbyterian Church, 944 E. Gorham St. The program repeats at 3 p.m. on Sunday, August 3, at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 326 S. Segoe Rd.
General admission tickets are $15 (adults)/$10 (students and seniors).
This year, the singers will tackle texts in Latin, French (medieval and modern), Russian, German, English and even a form of nonsense language, notated loosely in Finnish, inspired by both Scandinavian folk dance and the Muppets’ Swedish Chef.
The French chanson “Mille regretz” by the 15th century composer Josquin des Prez is matched by a modern setting by Andrew Rindfleisch. The choir’s renowned low basses will be on display in Russian works including Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Tebé poyém (We Hymn Thee)” and Alexander Gretchaninoff’s stunning “Ñe rïdáy Meñé, Máti (Do not lament me, O Mother).” From the German tradition, Johannes Brahms’ Zwei Motetten, Op. 74 (beginning with “Warum ist das Licht gegeben”) joins Anton Bruckner’s classic “Virga Jesse.”
Other composers represented include Jaako Mäntyjärvi, Lionel Daunais, Henry Purcell, Imant Raminsh and the great spiritual arranger Moses Hogan.
The Isthmus Vocal Ensemble is led by Scott MacPherson, director of choral activities at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Its members include professional singers and choral directors, professors, lawyers, students and passionate advocates for the arts. The choir has performed by invitation at the North Central Conference of the American Choral Directors Association, commissioned several world premieres and released two albums.
For more information, visit isthmusvocalensemble.org or the choir’s page on Facebook or call 608 234-0370.
[Compiled by Rich Samuels, host on “Anything Goes” Thursdays 5-8 am on WORT 89.9 fm, streaming at wortfm.org]