A Double Musical Treat From the Performing Arts Choir and the Netherlands Chamber Choir

By Henry C. Mayer

This season's Hattie Bishop Speed Endowed Concert Series opened with not one, but two programs.

In a surprise opening, talented young musicians from the Performing Arts Choir charmed the audience. They gave a vivid and compelling presentation of their considerable vocal gifts. Capably directed by Tim Glasscock, they opened the program with an inspiring interpretation of Thomas d'Victoria's "Ave Maria."

They not only showed impressive musical talents but also poise and skill when interviewed by Karen Little before the audience. Their other musical numbers included - but were not confined to - "Come With Me" by Samuel Barber, "My Spirit Sang with Me" and "April Is In My Mistress."

The afternoon's main feature was the Netherlands Choir, twenty-four talented singers of all ages. The splendid acoustics of St. Louis Bertrand Church enhanced the sounds for choir members' superb vocal gifts. Capably directed by Tonu Kalajuste, they presented five series of selections from the gifted pens of Monteverde, Messiaen, Britten, Frank Martin and Poulenc.

The audience reveled in this rich diversity of talent. For instance, Monteverde wrote in the 17th century. Swiss master Martin wrote his pieces for this choir. Britten's opus saluted Elizabeth II's coronation. Though Poulenc composed in several musical genres, he tells readers that he is at his best in choral works. Messiaen is also composer in many types of music; the focus in these works is human love in its mystical expression.

The Choir also delighted the audience with encores featuring two old spirituals: "I've Been 'Buked and I've Been Scorned" and "Elijah Rock