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Concert Program Cover

Second Concert of the 79th Season

Holiday Extravaganza

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017
Cordier Auditorium
Scott Humphries, Conductor

  Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson  
  The Christmas Song Mel Torme and Robert Wells
(arr. Bob Krogstad)
  Silent Night Arr. Erik Morales  
  Carol of the Bells/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Arr. Matt Riliey  
  Elizabeth Smith, violin  
  In Ecclesiis Benedicte Domino Giovanni Gabrieli
(arr. Debra Lynn)
  Clayton Marcum, counter-tenor
Jake Svay, tenor
Hayley Cochran, mezzo-soprano
Kenzie Hare, soprano
Emily Lynn, soprano

Manchester University A Cappella Choir
Manchester Symphony Chorus
Debra Lynn, conductor
  Amahl and the Night Visitors (Concert Version) Gian Carlo Menotti  
  Amahl - Elizabeth Thomson, treble
Mother - Kelly Iler, mezzo-soprano
Kaspar - Eric Reichenbach, tenor
Melchior - Thomas Hall, baritone
Balthazar - Michael Rueff, bass

Manchester University A Cappella Choir
Manchester Symphony Chorus

The Adams Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

  Sleigh Ride Leroy Anderson

Leroy Anderson was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1908, and died in Woodbury, Connecticut, in 1975. He studied composition at Harvard with George Enesco and Walter Piston. Anderson became very active in musical circles. He was chairman of the Board of Review of the American Society of Composers, and was a board member of the New Haven and Hartford symphony orchestras. He was a linguist, fluent in nine languages, but specializing in German and Scandinavian ones. He served with U.S. Intelligence in Iceland and in the United States during the Korean War in 1951. He was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. While working in Military Intelligence, he found time to write several of his most popular works, such as Blue Tango.

Anderson is best known for his attractive melodies and jaunty rhythms in such pieces as The Syncopated Clock and Sleigh Ride. He was also notable for his use of unconventional instruments, as in The Typewriter and The Sandpaper Ballet (yes, a typewriter and sandpaper were both used as instruments).

Anderson had been discovered by Arthur Fiedler, director of The Boston Pops Orchestra, and was championed by Fiedler, who invited him to conduct his own works with that orchestra. When he conducted The Typewriter, he did so wearing a green visor with his sleeves rolled up (hallmarks of the newspaper editor), and pretending to be typing in time with the music.

Sleigh Ride is perhaps the most frequently performed Anderson work. The Manchester Symphony Orchestra plays it very often during the holidays.

  In Ecclesiis Benedicte Domino Giovanni Gabrieli
(arr. Debra Lynn)

The title means "Bless the Lord in the congregation," and is from Psalm 26:12. It was composed as an outdoor processional for a great festival in the Piazza San Marco and inside the cathedral of San Marco in Venice. The intention was to have two large choruses marching through the plaza into the church, where they would join the organ and other instruments in an antiphonal performance. That is, the two groups would alternate in a sort of statement-and-answer manner.

In this performance, we have a relatively small choir, so the work must be performed in a different way. Also, the music was written in the seventeenth century, with other instruments in use. Maestra Debra Lynn has re-orchestrated the piece in a skillful way. In answer to my questions about adapting this work to our situation, she writes, "It's often done with just brass (in the USA), but since it was likely performed with shawms, sackbuts and strings, I've added some double-reeds and strings. I also added some timpani, which isn't quite period-correct (would have been a field or hand drum), but I thought it might be interesting to add some here and there."

It takes a great deal of historical know-how and musical skill to pull of something like this.

  Amahl and the Night Visitors (Concert Version) Giancarlo Menotti

Menotti was an Italian-American (or American-Italian, as he preferred it) opera composer. He began to compose music at the age of seven, and, when he was eleven, he wrote both the music and libretto to an opera, The Death of Pierrot. Although he wrote in some other genres, he is best-known as an opera composer. He continued to write both the words and the music to his operas. In 1928, he was enrolled in the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he was joined by two other students, Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber.

His first mature opera, Amelia Goes to the Ball, was written in 1937 while he was at Curtis, and is only one of two of his operas written in Italian. The other was The Last Savage, written in 1963. He wrote the libretto for Samuel Barber's Vanessa.

He was a pioneer in writing operas for media other than the stage. As early as 1939, he wrote The Old Maid and the Thief for radio, but his most famous opera is one he wrote for television for NBC in 1951, Amahl and the Night Visitors. It was the first opera ever written for television in America, and it was such a success that, like Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, it has become an annual Christmas tradition.

The story begins on a cold winter night outside a humble cottage. Amahl, a crippled young shepherd, sits bundled up in a rough cloak, playing his flute. His mother calls him several times to come in, but he is awed by the starry sky and particularly by one bright star.

After going to sleep, the mother and child hear a knock at the door. The Three Kings and their page are there and ask to spend the night. During the night, the mother resents the fact that the kings are taking treasure to a child they don't even know, while doing nothing for her own crippled child. She sneaks across the room in the dark and tries to steal some gems, but the page catches her.

Amahl wakes, sees the page attacking his mother, and, without knowing the reason, sets upon the page in a fury. The kings awaken and tell the page to let the old woman go. She can keep the gold. They are impressed by the devotion of the son.

The mother is impressed by the Kings' benevolence and tries to return the gold. She wants to visit the child they are seeking, but says she has nothing to offer that child. Amahl suggests giving his home-made crutch to the unknown child who might need it. Then he discovers he can walk. Finally, he goes off with the Kings to find the child.

  Silent Night Arr. Erik Morales
(b. 1966)

Born in New York City, Erik Morales has spent most of his adult life in the south. He studied composition at Florida International University and completed his bachelor's degree at the University of Louisiana in 1989.

His career began shortly after he graduated from high school when his band director asked him to arrange some music for his marching band. That led to other opportunities, and Mr. Morales soon found himself orchestrating many well-known pieces. He has composed works in many genres, including jazz, symphonic, and strings. He has written a Concerto in C for Trumpet and Piano. His favorite instrument is the trumpet, and he has toured with his own jazz ensemble. His orchestration this time is for string orchestra. he works a great deal with youth groups.

Currently, he is performing and teaching in the New Orleans area.

  The Christmas Song Arr. Bob Krogstad

The distinctive and creative style of Bob Krogstad's arranging is apparent in this delightful and heartwarming holiday showcase for orchestra. With the clever weaving of several classic carols and holiday songs, this medley sparkles from beginning to end.

Sadly, Mr. Krogstad died two years ago. He was known as "Mr. Christmas" because of his many beautiful arrangements of Christmas music.

  Carol of the Bells/God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Arr. Matt Riley  

Matt Riley has always had a great interest in music ... writing it, as well as playing it. He grew up in a house without television and entertained himself by playing the piano.

He spent four years studying at North Central University and toured with university pop groups. Then he spent two more years studying composition and arranging at the University of Mobile. He has scored music for documentary films, for TV commercials, and has worked on music for NBC's The Voice. He currently is the Music Director for a large church, and lives in Minneapolis with his family.


Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

  Violin I
Elizabeth Smith, Concertmaster
Kayla Michaels, Student concertmaster +^
Rachel Felver
Ilona Orban
Linda Kummernuss

Violin II
Joyce Dubach *
Hailey Schneider +
Paula Merriman
Alexandria Roskos +^
Wendy Kleintank
Pryce Whisenhunt +^
Lachlan Sharp +^

Julie Sadler *
Olivia Jenks +^
Margaret Sklenar
Josie Burton

Robert Lynn *
Wallace Dubach
Daniel Kubischta +^
Zoe Gowens-Evans +^
Anna Wright +^
Monique Hochstetler +^

Darrel Fiene *
Katie Huddleston

Kathy Davis *
Kathy Urbani
Laura Stepanovich +^

George Donner *
Nyssa Tierney
Lila D. Hammer *
Mark Huntington

Erich Zummack *
Freddie Lapierre +^

John Morse
Laura Dickey +^

Steven Hammer *
Mykayla Neilson

Jon Hartman *
Katrina Murray +^
Dakota Brown

David Robbins *

David Robbins *
Joel Alexander +^
Mason McBride +
Pamela Haynes

Pamela Haynes

Tim Reed

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MU student
^ Denotes Keister Scholarship recipient
** Denotes assistant principal

Manchester University Choral Personnel

Christine Beery
Kayla Carver
Hayley Cochran
Courtney Douglas
Bev Eikenberry
Kathy Fry-Miller
Angelina Funk
McKenzie Hare *
Madi Kaylor
Sarah Kerkes
Shannon Lee
Sierra Leyman
Emily Lynn *
Brooke Mosbaugh
Tina Rieman
Hailey Schneider
Cleo Swager
Sabine A. Thomas

Bryan Bathke
Paul Fry-Miller
Ben Johnson
Clayton Marcum *
Mason McBride
Judy Myers-Walls
Jake Svay *
Preston Wright

* denotes section leader
Berklee Blackman
Mallory Fletcher
Sandy Funk
Pat Hoover
Madie Livinghouse
Kayla Maynard
Katrina Murray
Haley Neilson *
Emma Nickel
Katie Peden *
Emma Stefanatos
Laura Stepanovich
Joy Stifler
Laura Stone

Daniel Baker
Alvara Castillo
Matthew Grothouse
Scott Humphries
Freddie Lapierre *
Samuel Rowland
Hamilton Sadler
Anthony Vega
Rohan Willoughby *

Debra Lynn, conductor
Jake Svay, student conductor
Alan Chambers, rehearsal pianist
Elizabeth Smith, rehearsal pianist
Elizabeth ThomsonElizabeth Thomson (Lizzie) is a native of Huntington, Indiana. She is 11 years old. She sings in the Huntington Children's Choir and plays the cello with the Huntington YMCA Music School. She has spent a lot of time on stage doing ballets and tap dance with the Fort Wayne Ballet, but lately has enjoyed a change of pace. She spent spring 2017 rehearsing and performing with the Huntington University Theatre Dept. in their Shrek production. She played the little princess Fiona and loved every minute. She is excited to try something very different with Amahl this year. She wants to be either an actress or a lawyer when she grows up.
Kelly IlerKelly Iler received her master's in music from the University of Northern Colorado. Originally from Indiana, she earned her bachelor's degree in vocal performance from Manchester University. During her time there, she performed the roles of Zita in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and Katashia in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. While pursuing her masters, Kelly performed the role of Dorabella in scenes from Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, and participated in the productions of Mozart's Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, and Bizet's Carmen. Kelly also performed the roles of Meg Page in Verdi's Falstaff, Anita in scenes from Bernstein's West Side Story, and Romeo in scenes from Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi. She also had the opportunity to work with La Musica Lirica in Italy as Zulma in Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri.
Michael RueffMichael Rueff is a bass/baritone based in Indianapolis. As a former student of Manchester University, he is honored to return as part of this ensemble show. During his time at Manchester, he participated in the Manchester Symphony Orchestra as well as A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers. He performed in Manchester's Opera Workshops for five years from 2013-2017, playing notable roles such as Christopher Sly in Christopher Sly, the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, as well as Pish-Tush in The Mikado.
Eric ReichenbachEric Reichenbach's familiarity with Amahl stretches back to childhood, when he saw several productions over the years and listened to the vinyl record repeatedly around the Christmas holiday because it has long been one of his mother's favorites. As a little boy, he identified most with Amahl and the love he and his mother had for each other, even more poignant as he watched his mother in that role in a community production. However, he also remembers Kaspar -- because of his deafness, his box of treasurers and, of course, his biting parrot -- with particular fondness.

Most of Eric's time is spent as husband and father to his supportive and active family -- wife Jennifer, and children Benjamin, Samuel, Isaac, Lauryn, and (temporarily) German exchange student Florian Schreier -- and working as a family physician with Parkview Physicians Group. Besides performing, he enjoys hiking and birding, landscaping and cooking. Eric has been fortunate to be involved in numerous musical productions over the years with a variety of groups, with some particular highlights being Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the Beast (alongside his beauty, Jennifer) in Beauty and the Beast, the Wolf and Rapunzel's Prince (as Tomas Hall's brother) in Into the Woods, John Dickinson in Manchester University's production of 1776, and most recently as the King of Siam in The King and I. He says, "It is always a treat and an honor to work with Debra Lynn, Scott Humphries, and the Manchester Symphony Orchestra, and a delight to be in North Manchester where we have a blessing of talent and an engaged and appreciative community."
Thomas HallThomas Hall is a 2014 graduate of DePaul University with a master's in voice performance and a bachelors in music and church music from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2008. Thomas' stage credits include Meanwhile, Back at Cinderella's (Filbert), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Adam), Fiddler on the Roof (Tevye), The Mikado (Nanki-Poo), La Boheme (Benoit), Into the Woods (Cinderella's Prince), Three Penny Opera (Macheath), Iphigénie en Tauride, and Dead Man Walking (Owen Hart). His concert credits include Vaughn Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Handel's Messiah (soloist), Pierrot Lunaire, and Vaughn Williams' Five Mystical Songs. In addition to performing and running a private voice studio, he is the director of choirs and the musical director for Warsaw Community High School in Warsaw, Indiana, and is the worship leader at Warsaw Wesleyan Church. He currently resides in North Manchester with his wife, Bethany, and their three children, Asher, Zoey, and Grantham.