Blackburn College to present spring concert April 14

Blackburn College to present spring concert April 14

“And when I sing, I am free!” These are the words of St. Louis poet Sara Teasdale, and the final words of The Blackburn College Music and Theatre Department’s spring choral concert, Viva América! Choral Music of the Americas, to be presented on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 4 p.m. in Bothwell Auditorium. The concert will feature words and music from North and South America sung by the Blackburn College Choir, Blackburn Voices, and special guests, the Lincoln Land Community College Choir. Many of the works, including Gwyneth Walker’s setting of Sara Teasdale’s poem Refuge, will be accompanied by a chamber orchestra of professional musicians from the St. Louis area.

The audience will be treated to folk, popular, and art music from Latin America, Canada, and the United States. The concert opens with an exploration of the richness of music of Canada and the United States, including a Revolutionary War hymn and a Civil War ballad, a Shaker tune and an African American spiritual, a haunting folk song from Newfoundland and beautiful ballad in praise of the Mira River in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Blackburn Voices, the college’s chamber choir, will perform music in Spanish and Latin from Mexico, Columbia, and Brazil, including a work from the Mexican Baroque by Manuel de Zumaya in praise of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the “patroness of all the Americas.”

The Lincoln Land Community College Choir will perform songs inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing: the Frank Sinatra favorite Fly Me to the Moon, a setting of Emily Dickinson’s The Moon is Distant from the Sea, and Eric Whitacre’s musical setting of the childhood classic, Goodnight Moon.

The concert will close with choral-orchestral settings of American poets by American composers: Rollo Dilworth’s gospel-style setting of Langston Hughes’ I Dream a World, Randall Thompson’s collection of Robert Frost poems, Frostiana, and Walker and Teasdale’s Refuge.

The Blackburn College Choir, conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Zobel, is comprised of Blackburn students and alumni, former Blackburn faculty and staff, and singers from Carlinville and surrounding communities. Blackburn piano faculty member Dr. See Tsai Chan will play Blackburn’s Steinway Model D concert grand piano. The Lincoln Land Community College Choir will perform under the direction of Laurie Lewis-Fritz, who is also adjunct professor of voice at Blackburn.

This concert is free to the public. Donations to support Blackburn’s choral program will be gratefully accepted. For more information, contact the Department of Music and Theatre at Blackburn College by calling 217-854-5704, emailing