2016-17 Schola Cantorum to Debut With New Continuo Organ

The new Bennett & Guittari 3-rank continuo organ, acquired by the Department of Music.
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The new Bennett & Guittari 3-rank continuo organ, acquired by the Department of Music.

In their debut for the 2016-17 academic year, the university's premier vocal ensemble, Schola Cantorum, will perform a concert on campus this Thursday, Oct. 13. The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center. The concert highlights the Music Department's newly acquired Bennett & Guittari 3-rank continuo organ, commisioned and built for the U of A in the style of an 18th century German continuo organ.

These types of small organs, the foundation on which so much church and chamber music was built, were light and portable making it possible to play music outside for civic events, or for graveside funerals. Using the organ, Schola Cantorum will perform a motet by J.S. Bach, Lobet den Herrn BWV 230, as well as F.J. Haydn's famous "Little Organ Mass" composed specifically for this type of instrument and featuring a brilliant organ solo in the Benedictus movement. The program also includes Shakespeare settings by English composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, that pay homage to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death this year.

The 36 voices of the Schola Cantorum comprise a mixture of undergraduate and graduate students, representing more than 20 different majors and nearly every college on campus. Senior music theory major Edrei Cerda is looking forward to the performance.

"The new continuo organ will bring a new musical aspect to the stage of the Faulkner Performing Arts Center and to the university's performing ensembles," said Cerda. "Performing with a period-correct instrument allows us to get closer to the composer and help us to better experience their sound."

This is the only organ of its kind in the state of Arkansas, bringing further distinction to the Department of Music at the U of A.

Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 students/seniors, available at the FPAC Box Office.




Stephen E. Caldwell, assistant professor
Department of Music
479-575-3141, stephenc@uark.edu


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