|Master Chorale, UND Concert Choir present Masterworks Concert|
The Grand Forks Master Chorale and the UND Concert Choir will team up for "An Evening of Romanticism" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 3, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, East Grand Forks. The Masterworks Concert features works by Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst, and Morten Lauridsen. Advance tickets of $25 for a family, $12 for general admission, $8 for senior citizens, and $5 for students are available at the Chester Fritz Auditorium and at 777-4090.
Applied to music from roughly the 1820s until 1910, Romanticism was characterized by an emphasis on emotion and great freedom of form. It attained its fullest development in the works of German composers. Many romantic composers, including Brahms, worked in small forms that are flexible in structure, such as prelude, intermezzo, nocturne, ballad, and cappriccio, especially in solo music for the piano. Another romantic contribution was the art song for voice and piano.
"This is a bittersweet concert for us. We are saying goodbye to an outstanding artistic director in Jon Nero. He is finishing up his doctorate and will pursue his career in higher education. Jon has done an excellent job for us. We’ll miss his talent, his fine artistic sensibility, and his easy-going but task-oriented directing style,” said Peter Johnson, Master Chorale development director.
“The good news, though,” said Johnson,” is that we’ll introduce our new artistic director at this concert. We are very excited to have Joshua Bronfman, UND director of choral activities, joining us as our artistic director and conductor. In fact, you’ll get a sneak peek at Josh directing the Master Chorale for the first time publicly at the May 3 concert when he takes the baton for one piece.”
Bronfman said the opportunity to direct an auditioned community group like the Master Chorale is a dream come true for him. He first became impressed by community groups as a teenager in Oregon when he heard a group perform “Les Chanson des Roses” by Morten Lauridsen. He decided that one day he would sing with such a group, and later upgraded the dream to directing a community choir. That connection to “Les Chanson des Roses” prompted him to choose the piece for this concert.
The concert will also be bittersweet in that the Master Chorale and the UND Concert Choir will join to perform “In Remembrance” in honor of the students killed at Virginia Tech April 16. The piece was suggested by Bronfman as a fitting tribute to the students.
Jon Nero is in his second year as artistic director of the Grand Forks Master Chorale. He has been working toward a D.M.A. in choral conducting at NDSU since the fall of 2004. His duties at NDSU have included directing choirs and teaching music courses for music majors and non-majors. Nero was also the choral director for the Northern Ambassadors of Music European tours in 2003 and 2005. Prior to coming to NDSU, Nero taught vocal music at the elementary and secondary levels in North Dakota and Minnesota.
Sara Bloom, accompanist for the Grand Forks Master Chorale, earned a Bachelor of Science in music education and the Master’s of Music in piano performance from the University of North Dakota.
Joshua Bronfman is director of choral activities at UND, where he directs the Concert Choir and Varsity Bards. He also teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in choral conducting, choral literature and choral methods. Bronfman’s scholarly interests include Swedish choral music, particularly that of Sven-David Sandström, and undergraduate choral conducting pedagogy. In 2005 he was selected as a Conducting Fellow for the Eric Ericson Masterclass in the Netherlands, where he directed the Netherlands Chamber Choir and Netherlands Radio Choir. Bronfman is currently completing his Ph.D. in choral music education and choral conducting at Florida State University, studying with Andre Thomas, Rodney Eichenberger, Judy Bowers, and Clifford Madsen. He received his master’s degree from Oregon State University, and his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University. Prior to pursuing his advanced degrees, Bronfman was a music specialist in Oregon where he taught at the elementary and middle levels. -- Grand Forks Master Chorale.