Chamber Choir to perform with special guests

Chamber Choir
NIU Chamber Choir

The NIU Chamber Choir will once again showcase their talents at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall of the NIU Music Building.

They will present J.S. Bach’s Cantata Christ lag in Todes Banden, (Bach’s Easter Cantata) with guests the Avalon String Quartet.

Also on the program is Son of God Mass, a piece by contemporary composer James Whitbourn for chamber choir, organ and soprano saxophone. Steve Duke, NIU faculty and Distinguished Research Professor, is the special guest artist for this performance.

Duke is widely known for his work as an accomplished classical and jazz saxophonist and for performing new music and computer music.

His versatility on the saxophone prompted Allan Kozinn of the New York Times to write, “Stephen Duke played the music with a gorgeous tone and moved easily between, say, the Coltranesque leaps and the supple fluidity of the Hodges pastiche.”

Featured in major classical, jazz and new music festivals and conferences throughout the United States and Europe, Duke’s solo performances include appearances at International Computer Music Conference, Synthesis Computer Music Festival, Arts Now Music Series, International Association for Jazz Education Annual Conference, Music Today Festival, Contemporary Music Festival, Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), World Saxophone Conference, World Music Institute Music Series, the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, and Electronic Music Midwest.

Duke joined the NIU faculty in 1980. In 1999, he was awarded the Presidential Research Professorship.

Members of the Avalon Quartet are Blaise Magniere – first violin, Richard O. Ryan Endowed Chair in Violin; Marie Wang – second violin; Anthony Devroye – viola; and Cheng-Hou Lee – cello. The members of the Avalon Quartet teach applied lessons and coach chamber music, and are active in their performance career bringing attention to the NIU School of Music from the concert stage and in other outreach activities. They annually perform a number of concerts on campus and on a concert series produced by NIU at Symphony Center in Chicago.

Founded in 1995, the Avalon Quartet held residencies at NIU and the Hartt School, and prior to their appointment at NIU School of Music in 2007 was the faculty quartet-in-residence at the Indiana University-South Bend Raclin School of the Arts for four years.

The concert is free and open to the public. The building is accessible to all.

For more information, contact Lynn Slater at (815) 753-1546 or via e-mail at lslater@niu.edu

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