More than 200 musicians will join forces at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, as the
Marshall University Choral Union and Chamber Choir, together with the MU
Orchestra and the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus, present Franz Joseph
Haydn’s “Lord Nelson” Mass and Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy.” The
event will take place in Smith Recital Hall.
Bringing together choral and instrumental ensembles for large performances is not unusual in the MU music department and, in fact, this production follows last spring’s collaborative presentation of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Huntington Symphony Orchestra. What is different about this production is the presence of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus, a fixture on the Charleston music scene. Dr. David Castleberry, director of choral activities at Marshall University, directs all of the choirs involved.
“I have looked forward to the chance to bring these choral forces together for a production and I think the results will be quite exciting for everyone involved,” Castleberry said. “The Marshall Orchestra is playing wonderfully and will bring real depth and color to these extraordinary musical works.”
The works on this program represent the height of the “classical” style, said Dr. Elizabeth Reed Smith, professor of music and director of the MU Orchestra. “The choice of the Beethoven Choral Fantasy came to mind in discussing a new addition to our music faculty at Marshall, Dr. Henning Vauth. He is a wonderful pianist and we thought this would be an exciting way to welcome him to the department,” Smith said.
In addition, soprano Marlayna Maynard, a graduate and voice teacher in the Marshall music department, will be featured as a soloist, alongside a number of current student soloists.
“The concert promises to be an outstanding event,” Castleberry said, “but please note that there will be only one Huntington performance.” A second performance will be offered at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, at Christ Church United Methodist, located at the corner of Quarrier and Morris Streets in Charleston, W.Va.
Admission to both events is free. A free-will offering will be accepted at the Charleston concert.
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