Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., July 26, 2002 -- The Southeast Missouri State University Choral Union, the area's largest and most renowned community choir, will begin its fall rehearsal schedule on Tuesday, Aug. 20, for a Dec. 3 concert, "An American Celebration."

Regular rehearsals will be held on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. in 205 Brandt Music Hall.

The Choral Union is a non-auditioned, "open membership" choir that draws singers from the area-wide community. The 100-plus voice choir specializes in major choral/orchestral works, and performances of such highly acclaimed works as Orff's "Carmina Burana" and Bach's "Magnificat," and most recently Rutter's "Requiem" have attracted capacity crowds. Dr. John Egbert, director of choral activities at the University, is the group's director.

Anyone interested in singing in the Choral Union or wanting additional information is encouraged to contact Egbert at (573) 651-2342 or e-mail

"It is very simple," Egbert said. "We are interested in anyone who wants to sing, and although we are always interested in recruiting additional men, we are also trying to recruit more women". There is no fee and no audition for membership.

"An American Celebration" features Randall Thompson's "Frostiana," Howard Hanson's "Song of Democracy" and Mack Wilberg's "Thou Gracious God, Whose Mercy Lends." It comes at a time in our nation's history when we find ourselves embroiled in global conflict and with a heightened national conscientiousness and pride.

"Frostiana" is a set of American Country Songs based on the poems of Robert Frost. It is a reflection of a simpler, bygone era, and has individual movements for men's, women's, and mixed voices.

"Song of Democracy" is a powerful, Post-Romantic work based on the writings of Walt Whitman, and is an image of the American "voyage." It was dedicated to the Music Educators of America.

The concert will conclude with "Thou Gracious God, Whose Mercy Lends," another extraordinary setting of a traditional American folk hymn for orchestra and choir by Mack Wilberg, one of the country's premiere music arrangers.

Egbert said, "'An American Celebration' is a glimpse at our heritage that can help us clarify who we are as a people and help us resolve some of the issues we face as a nation."


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For more information contact the Director of the News Bureau, Ann Hayes, (573) 651-2552.