Schola Cantorum Invited to Perform at Distinguished National Conference

University of Arkansas Schola Cantorum
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University of Arkansas Schola Cantorum

The University of Arkansas Schola Cantorum, through national blind audition, has been selected to perform at the biennial conference of the National Collegiate Choral Organization, Nov. 4, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

This distinguished invitation was many years in the making. To be considered, collegiate choirs from across the country must submit concert recordings and programs looking back several years that establish a pattern of consistent excellence under a single director. The submission materials are peer-reviewed blind by a panel of experts assembled from top colleges and universities.

Stephen Caldwell, director of the Schola Cantorum in the Department of Music at the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, commented that, "this is amongst the most prominent concert invitations for a collegiate vocal ensemble, and we are very humbled to have been chosen. This selection is a testament to the hard work, diligent rehearsal, and consummate performances of our students past and present."

Schola Cantorum will present a concert featuring the works of early Italian Baroque composer, Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674), including his impressive Dixit Dominus for double chorus and continuo, and a complete performance of his oratorio, Jonas, based on the story of Jonah and the Whale. The "Historia di Ionas" or "History of Jonah" likely dates from 1648 when Carissimi was at the height of his compositional prowess and fame. Schola Cantorum will be joined by music department faculty Christopher MacRae who will sing the role of Jonah.

Edrei Cerda, a tenor, has been a part of the Schola Cantorum for three years is very excited for "the opportunity to travel and perform at such a esteemed event," but is also, "a little bit nervous about the expectation that this type of event brings."

Freshman soprano, Emily Auten, sees it from a different perspective. "I wasn't a part of the group that made all of the submission recordings, but I'm responsible for carrying their torch of excellence, and I take that responsibiliy very seriously," she said.

Local audiences will have an opportunity to hear the entire NCCO concert program on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center on campus, before the choir travels to Baton Rouge.


Stephen E. Caldwell, assistant professor
Department of Music


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