Cor Cantiamo to perform October 18 at NIU

Cor CantiamoCor Cantiamo, the NIU School of Music ensemble-in-residence, will present its first concert of the season at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall.

Listeners will hear stunning beauty and drama.

From music to observe the 100th observation of WWI to songs about love and loss to exciting new rhythms and sounds from Brazil, this concert will highlight the musical artistry of this accomplished choral ensemble.

“A composer can only hope to have his or her work performed with as much accuracy and emotion as Cor Cantiamo. They pour themselves into their work as musicians and as high caliber singers. They truly bring the music to life,” said composer Timothy Takach, who is featured in the opening number of the concert, “A Worshipper and a Man.”

Cor Cantiamo’s concert also will include the U.S. premiere of “Standing As I Do Before God,” by British composer Cecilia McDowall. This stunning composition recounts the last hours of Edith Cavell, the British nurse who helped more than 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium. She was executed by German forces Oct. 12, 1915.

“The poet Seán Street (had) taken Cavell’s words and fashioned a poetical reflection around them. This inspired me to create something both contemplative and intense to mark the life and work of this remarkable, selfless woman in some way,” McDowall said.

“After Nurse Edith Cavell’s execution, recruitment for the British Army doubled. She was given a state funeral after the war in Westminster Abbey, which gives an insight into the impact she had on everyone,” McDowall added. “Some say that her death, in part, persuaded the American public to support the U.S. involvement in the First World War. My setting gives focus to Edith Cavell, by giving her words to the soprano soloist.”

JeongSoo Kim
JeongSoo Kim

This song is a part of the first half of the concert, which commemorates the 100th anniversary observance of World War I years. There have been, and continue to be, commemorative ceremonies and events in observation of this anniversary worldwide. This commemoration will also feature a haunting setting of John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields” and music of timeless beauty by Renaissance master Tomás Luis de Victoria.

Continuing, the concert also will feature riveting psalm compositions by Jake Runestad, Roxanna Panufnik and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Cor Cantiamo also will join forces with NIU School of Music faculty member and pianist, JeongSoo Kim. She will be a collaborative artist with Cor Cantiamo performing Morten Lauridsen’s masterwork cycle “Mid Winter Songs.”

The program will conclude with new choral music from Brazil.

In conjunction with this concert, Cor Cantiamo is also promoting the work of Make a Difference DKC. This 501 (c) 3 organization is holding a $10,000 cash raffle to raise money for Feed My Starving Children, a charity whose sole purpose is to feed starving children. Each November Make a Difference DKC hosts a mobile pack event in Sycamore during which 1 million meals are packed to be sent to the hungry. Raffle tickets will be sold for $20 at the concert to help Make a Difference reach its goals.

Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and students. Ages 5 and younger are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the door.

For more information, call (815) 753-7984 or email ejohnsn@niu.edu.

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