Chico State Chamber Singers - Dr. Jeffrey Gemmell, Director

Spring Choral Concert
Expedition of Recovery and Discovery
Presented April 12-13, 2003 at CSU, Chico

~  CSU, Chico’s Chamber Singers will be performing a brand new
work, “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” a choral work born out of the 9/11
tragedy and jointly commissioned by CSU, Chico and CSU, Fresno.
This performance includes choral singers, piano, percussion, and solo flute.

“For Whom the Bell Tolls,” a three movement choral work by
composer Bradley Nelson, was performed in its entirety for the first
time ever at the prestigious California Music Educators Convention,
March 15 in Pasadena, California.

“‘For Whom the Bell Tolls,’ is full of musical substance and depth,”
said Gemmell. “People were moved to tears at the Pasadena performance.”

“For Whom the Bell Tolls” is about 16 minutes in length. It starts out
with "Anthem for Doomed Youth", which depicts the horrors of war,
transitions into the famous “In Flander’s Field” poem, and finishes
with "Agnus Dei", a setting of the Latin Mass text that Gemmell
described as “soothing, calming, and comforting.”  ~

Like Indiana Jones searching for some lost, ancient treasure, Jeffrey
Gemmell, CSU, Chico’s Director of Choral Activities, has left no
stone unturned in his search for lost and forgotten choral music gems.

Gemmell’s choirs will be singing many of these “rediscovered” works
during the annual spring choral concert, Expedition of Recovery and
Discovery, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. and April 13 at 2 p.m. in Harlen Adams Theatre.

 “This is some of the most challenging work we have done,” said Gemmell.
“We’re really enjoying blowing the dust off these lost
pieces and getting them ready for our concert.”

Expedition of Recovery and Discovery will feature the A Cappella
Choir, Chamber Singers, University Chorus, and Choral Union.
Joining the singers will be a chamber orchestra and University
Organist David Rothe performing on the Flentrop Pipe Organ.

“It’s exiting to hear the music of these lost and forgotten choral
works come to life,” said Gemmell. “Having a full chamber orchestra
and Dr. Rothe accompanying us will let us perform these works in a very authentic way.”

Some of the pieces the choirs will sing haven’t been performed for
over 200 years, noted Gemmell. The choral ensembles will shine a
spotlight on rarely performed works by brothers Franz Joseph and
Johann Michael Haydn, as well as Americans William Billings and Samuel Holyoke.

“The Billings and Holyoke works were composed during the same
era as the other rarely performed pieces we are doing. What is
unique about them is that they are a reflection of the kind of choral
music that was being performed in America at the same time.”

The Haydn pieces will be performed in Austrian-German-Latin, which
“give them a unique sound,” said Gemmell. The A Cappella Choir
and Chamber Singers will be joined on stage by a professional chamber orchestra.

“These works are very energetic and exciting,” said Gemmell.
“Having the chamber orchestra accompany the singers is very rare
for us. It will add a colorful layer of sound to the singers’ voices.”

The Choral Union will also perform portions of C.P.E. Bach’s ‘St.
Matthew Passion,’ which was recently performed to a sold-out
audience during the Chico Bach Festival.
“Many people at our concert may not have heard it before and I
guarantee they will come away moved by what they hear.”

The University Chorus will be performing well-known works by
several popular composers, including J.S. Bach’s “Jesu, joy of
man’s desiring,” Mozart’s “Ave verum,” and Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy.”

Expedition of Recovery and Discovery is being presented jointly by
CSU, Chico’s School of the Arts and the Department of Music.

Advance tickets at $12 adults, $10 seniors, and $6
students/children are available in Chico at the University Box Office
(898-6333), Terrace Pharmacy, and Cal Java, and in Paradise at the
House of Color. Add $2 for tickets at the door. For disability-related
accommodations, call 898-4325; reserve wheel chair seating three
days in advance.


Photos for media to accompany this press release available at the School of the Arts Online Photo Database.