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HU Madrigal Choir Performs With Taos Community Chorus November 17, 23, 24

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The Highlands University Madrigal Choir rehearses with Andre García-Nuthmann, right, director of the choral program in the Department of Music
Photo: Courtesy of Beth Urech

Las Vegas, N.M. – The Taos Community Chorus and the Highlands University Madrigal Choir present a concert series titled “Love” beginning Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. in the university’s historic Ilfeld Auditorium at 900 University Ave.

The cost for the concert is $5. It will also be performed Nov. 23 at 3 p.m. and Nov. 24 at 3 p.m. at the St. James Episcopal Church in Taos at 208 Camino del Santiago.

The conductors for the concert are Erick Brunner, director of the Taos Community Chorus, and Andre-García-Nuthmann, director of the choral program in the Highlands Department of Music.

“This concert focuses on love in all its forms, between couples, mankind, nature and God,” García-Nuthmann said. “The majority of the composers come from the Romantic period such as Johannes Brahms, Robert Schumann, René Clausen, Gabriel Fauré and Gustav Holst. The music is uplifting, nostalgic, profound and dazzling.

“This collaborative concert is a wonderful opportunity for the public to hear two choirs share their talents. The highlight is when the two choirs join to sing Brahms’ “Liebeslieder Waltzes.” This Brahms selection is stunningly beautiful,” García-Nuthmann said.

Brunner said: “In a world that needs as much love as it can get, it seemed appropriate to explore the many facets of the subject….What a feast this concert is with so much music representing many diverse cultures and styles.”

The pianists for the concert include Martha Shepp of the Taos Community Chorus and Edwin Aybar, a professor in the Highlands Department of Music.

The Highlands Madrigal Choir, also known as El Coro de la Tierra Alta, begins the program with the selections “O Occhi, Manza, Mia by Orlando di Lasso;” “Prayer of St. Francis” by William Beckstrand with a solo by baritone Joe Cooney; “Ubi Caritas by Ola Gjeilo; Der Ganz Zum Liebchen, Op. 31, No. 3 by Johannes Brahms; “So Whar die Sonne Scheinet (Minnespiel, Op. 101) by Robert Schumann; “Wedding Chorus” (“In Windsor Forest”) by Ralph Von Williams; and “Cantique de Jean Racine, Op.11 by Gabriel Fauré.

The second part of the program includes the Taos Community Chorus singing the selections “Set Me As a Seal” by René Clausen; “I Love My Love” by Gustav Holst; “Earth Song” by Frank Ticheli; and “Seasons of Love” (from “Rent”) by Jonathan Larson.

After an intermission, the choirs join to perform Brahms’ “Liebeslieder Waltzes.” The soloists include soprano Kathleen Echols-Crumbacher; contralto Julia Armstrong; tenor Andre García-Nuthmann; and baritone Mark Jackson.

The final piece of the concert is “Deep Peace” by Bill Douglas, with Dominique Gallegos as the violin soloist. She is a Highlands University Department of Music student.

“We at Highlands University are honored to share the stage with maestro Brunner and the Taos Community Chorus,” said García-Nuthmann, who has sung solos in the chorus for a number of years.