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BARD COLLEGE COMMUNITY CHORUS SEEKS SINGERS FOR MAY PERFORMANCE OF THE CONGOLESE MASS, MISSA LUBA
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.?The Bard College Community Chorus, directed by James Bagwell, is looking for experienced singers to join the chorus and perform the Congolese mass, Missa Luba, on Wednesday, May 1, at Bard College. Bagwell, an assistant professor of music and director of choral music at Bard, took over direction of the chorus last year. He said that community participation was a wonderful addition to the performance of Vivaldi's Gloria last fall, with approximately 50 percent of the 75-member chorus composed of area residents. "The community feeling that was engendered between Bard students and the area singers was really wonderful," Bagwell said. "Everyone had a great experience and got a kick out of the chorus."
According to Bagwell, the Community Chorus offers experienced area singers a venue to perform within the oratorio chorus tradition. Members pay no dues or music fees. No audition is required for singers to join the chorus. Rehearsals will be held weekly, from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., beginning on Tuesday, February 5, at Olin Hall on the Bard campus. Missa Luba is a traditional African piece that will be performed with percussion.
Jay Harvey wrote in the Indianapolis Star that "Bagwell displayed a fine sense of detail and proportion. . . . His cues and encouragement to soloists, the choir, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra had an electrifying intensity that seemed to yield a full measure of commitment to the music by all concerned." Bagwell was recently appointed music director of the Light Opera of Oklahoma. He maintains an active schedule throughout the United States as a conductor of choral, operatic, and symphonic literature. Bagwell is the principal guest conductor and artistic adviser of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, which he conducted this season in a performance of Bach's B Minor Mass, and serves in the same capacity with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and the Indianapolis Chamber Singers, a professional ensemble that he founded. Bagwell is also the music director of Cincinnati's May Festival Youth Chorus and director of the May Festival Summer Chorus. He has trained choruses for several major American orchestras, including the Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and Indianapolis Symphony. This past summer, Bagwell conducted a concert with the New York Virtuoso Singers at the Bard Music Festival's "Debussy and His World."
For further information about the Bard College Community Chorus, call the Music Program (after January 29) at 845-758-7250.
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