Thursday, October 29, 2009

Press release for Selma and Montgomery


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Concert Choir will present two free concerts at churches in Montgomery and Selma Sunday, Nov. 15. The choir will perform at 4 p.m. at Memorial Presbyterian Church, 2130 Bell Road, Montgomery, then at 7 p.m. at Selma’s First Presbyterian Church, 301 Broad St. Call the UAB Department of Music at 205-934-7376 or visit

Philip Copeland, D.M.A., conducts the 42-voice a cappella choir. Audiences will be amazed by the musical artistry and technical accuracy of the UAB students as they sing works frequently featured in international competitions of choral music. Copeland has selected a diverse program for the performance that includes stunning music from five centuries and five nations, including Latvian, Latin and Hungarian works as well as several spirituals and hymns.

On the program is Toivo Tuula’s “Auringon Noustessa,” a work that celebrates a promised freedom from oppression. Also featured is Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi’s arrangement of “Death May Dissolve Me,” a work from William Billings, the United States’ most famous early American composer. The work also features the spiritual poetry of Isaac Watts, known as the “Father of English Hymnody,” whose hymns “Joy to the World” and “O God Our Help in Ages Past” are well known to church congregations.

The UAB Concert Choir frequently introduces lesser known choral masterpieces to the classical audience of Birmingham. In this concert, a work from English composer Cecilia McDowall and Lithuanian composer Vytautas Miškinis will be included. Other works to be featured include the famous 16th century composer William Byrd’s “Haec Dies,” a standard among fine college choirs across the United States. “Esti dal” by Zoltan Kodaly, one of Hungary’s best known composers, also will be included on the program.

Touring nationally and internationally, the UAB Concert Choir has quickly gained recognition as one of Alabama’s finest a cappella choirs. In March 2010, the choir will be featured at the American Choral Directors Association regional convention in Memphis, Tenn. The choir was recently featured at the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2008, the choir won the Heinrich Schütz Perpetual Trophy for their performance of a work by the Baroque composer in the Fleischman International Choral Competition in Cork, Ireland. It was UAB’s second international competition; the first was participation in the 34th annual Florlilege Vocal de Tours in Tours, France, where the choir won two awards, the Prix Du Ministère de La Culture, an award given for best interpretation of a French choral work, and shared the top award in the Mixed Choirs Category.

About UAB

UAB is the first all-Steinway piano school in Alabama. The UAB Department of Music presents more than 150 concerts, recitals, master classes, and lectures each year - many of them free - for more than 400,000 people throughout the region. The department features 17 ensembles. Visit the department online at


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