Dr. Chuck Neufeld said there might be a surprise or two when Lander University's two major choral ensembles stage a concert titled "Serious Nonsense," on Tuesday, April 10, at 8 p.m., in Lander's Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium.
Neufeld is an associate professor of music and director of Lander's choral activities. He has put together what he described as "a fun program" to be performed by The University Singers and The Old Main Singers under his direction with the piano accompaniment of Amy Blackwood, Lander's staff accompanist.
Neufeld said, in choosing selections for the program, he was looking at a wide range of choral music that uses words or sounds that mean nothing. "All music uses some sort of nonsense or silly words or sounds." He pointed out scat singing in jazz where a vocalist improvises using nonsense syllables to mimic the sounds of musical instruments.
But he explained that most of the selections he chose represent serious music. For example, The University Singers will perform "Totus Tuus" written by Henryk Mikolaj Górecki to celebrate the third pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II to his native Poland. It was first performed June 14, 1987, at a High Mass celebrated by the Pope in Victory Square, Warsaw.
Other music in the program will include the overture to "The Barber of Seville," by Rossini; gospel selections by Moses Hogan and Byron Smith; the Hoagy Carmichael classic "Georgia on My Mind," and more.
Neufeld said the concert is in tune with his habit of selecting a unique theme when putting together a choral presentation.
The University Singers is the larger of the two groups, with 40 members, while The Old Main Singers has 25 members. Students in both groups represent a mix of Lander music majors and nonmusic majors.
The concert is free and open to the public but donations to Lander's scholarship fund will be accepted.