War and the Human Heart
November 10 • 7:30 pm
St. James Cathedral – 65 E Huron St, Chicago, IL
On the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, Rembrandt presents a special event five years in the making. War and the Human Heart combines chamber orchestra, chorus, film, and live narration in a moving performance that honors the experience of war for every veteran, past or present. Join Rembrandt Chamber Musicians, the Valparaiso University Chorale, the Valparaiso University Bach Choir, and conductor Craig Jessop (former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) for a thought-provoking journey into the veteran experience. Works by Beethoven, Strauss, Holst, Schumann, Barber, and others.
FEATURED GUESTS: Craig Jessop (former Director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir), conductor; Carl Grapentine (WFMT Morning Program), narrator; Christopher Cock (Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Valparaiso University), tenor; Anne Marie Bice, soprano; Daniel Eifert, baritone; Steven Ovitsky (Executive Director, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival), shofar
PRE-CONCERT TALK: “France in the Great War: The Divide between Home Front and Front Line — and How a Song Bridged the Gap.” Dr. Charles Rearick, Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, will deliver a unique and engaging presentation on La Madelon, the “hit song” of World War I in France. Through the lyrics and history of this popular song, Dr. Rearick explores the collective emotions of the troops and the enduring memory of the war in the public imagination. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to view photographs and other materials from Dr. Rearick’s private collection while hearing a dynamic talk by one of only a few experts in the popular music of WWI. The presentation will begin at 6:15 p.m. in St. James Commons, adjacent to the Cathedral. Co-sponsored by the Valparaiso University Music Department.
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Support for this concert generously provided by the Chansons de Guerre Fund.
BEETHOVEN: Krieger Chor [Soldiers’ Song]: Wir Bauen und Sterben [We Build and Die], WoO 96, from incidental music to Leonora Prohaska, a drama by Johann Friedrich Duncker, cabinet secretary to the King of Prussia (1814)
STRAUSS: Feierlicher Einzug der Ritter des Johanniterordens (Solemn Processional of the Knights of the Order of St. John), TrV 224 (1909)
BARBER: A Stopwatch and an Ordnance Map (1940)
What Do You Do if You Are Attacked? Or Your Country is Occupied?
READ: The Reveille, Op. 89b (1962)
MARLY: Chant des Partisans (Song of the Partisan Fighters) (1940)
Anne Marie Bice, Soprano
The Veteran’s Experience: Camaraderie, Sacrifice, “Battle Madness”
ROBERT: Quand Madelon (1914)
ROUSSEL: Le Bardit des Francs (War Song of the Franks) (1926)
HOLST: A Dirge for Two Veterans, H121 (1914)
GRAINGER: We Have Fed Our Sea for a Thousand Years (1911)
Veterans’ Fear and Commitment
MARTINU: Polni Mse (Field Mass/Soldier’s Mass), H. 279 (1939)
Daniel Eifert, Baritone
Loss and Hope for the Future
BOUTRY: Marche de Novembre (Commemorating the Battle of the Verdun) (1975)
SCHUMANN: Beim Abschied zu Singen (Parting Song), Op. 84 (1847)
HOLST: Turn Back O Man, Op. 36a/H.134 (1916)
Craig Jessop, Conductor
Dr. Craig Jessop is Professor of Music and the founding Dean for the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University. These appointments follow Dr. Jessop’s distinguished tenure as music director of the world famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Head of the Department of Music at Utah State. He is the founder and Music Director of the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra and has served as the music director of the Carnegie Hall National High School Choral Festival sponsored by the Weill Institute of Music at Carnegie Hall. Prior to his appointment with the Tabernacle Choir, Dr. Jessop was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force music programs, where he served as director of the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants in Washington, D.C. (1980-1987); as commander and conductor of the Band of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein, Germany (1987-1991); and as commander and conductor of the Air Combat Command Heartland of America Band (1991-1995). He has also been music director of the Maryland Choral Society, the Rhineland-Pfalz International Choir of Germany and the Omaha Symphonic Chorus. Continue reading…
Carl Grapentine, Narrator
Carl Grapentine recently retired after a 46-year career in classical music radio. Carl was the host of the Morning Program on WFMT, Chicago’s Classical music station, for almost twenty-five years. He joined WFMT in 1986 after serving as the morning host of WQRS, the classical music station in Detroit, for thirteen years.
Carl still presents pre-concert lectures for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, and many other ensembles. He also hosts concerts for numerous community orchestras and bands. He was the host for the nationally syndicated broadcast concerts of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and he hosts the National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis each spring.
An alumnus of the University of Michigan School of Music, Carl has been the “stadium voice” of the University of Michigan Marching Band since 1970—his voice being heard on national telecasts of sixteen Rose Bowls and numerous other bowl games. In 2006 he also assumed the responsibilities of game announcer at Michigan Stadium.
An accomplished conductor and singer, Carl has many years of experience as a church music director. He also has sung the national anthem for professional and collegiate sporting events at Wrigley Field, old and new Comiskey Park (now Guaranteed Rate Field), Tiger Stadium, the Pontiac Silverdome, and the University of Michigan’s Crisler Center.
Christopher Cock, Tenor
Christopher M. Cock is the Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Valparaiso University, holds the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Lutheran Music, and is Director of the Bach Institute.
Through his activities as a choral music educator and as a distinguished solo artist, Dr. Cock has forged a unique career path combining the roles of conductor and performer. He frequently brings his focus on outstanding repertoire, vocal technique and polished musicality to high school ensembles throughout the country. For six years, he served as director of choirs for Lutheran Summer Music, the national Lutheran high school music camp. In 2006, he led the International Choral Invitational in Hong Kong, and was conductor of the Spivey Hall High School Honor Choir, a festival begun by Robert Shaw. He has also conducted All-State Choirs in Minnesota, Georgia and Ohio and the Collegiate Honor Choir in Pennsylvania. He has also appeared at Carnegie Hall as guest conductor of the New England Symphonic Ensemble – he has now made appearances as both conductor and soloist at this legendary venue.
In October 2017, he lead the Valparaiso University Chorale as the only international choir to be invited to the 500th anniversary celebration of the Reformation in Wittenberg, Germany, including appearances on October 31, 2017 at the St. Thomas Church and the Castle Church. In recognition of his work creating and sustaining these musical relationships in Germany, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany awarded him (in 2017) the Cross of the Order of Merit for “extraordinary service” rendered to German-American relations in the field of music.
Daniel Eifert, Baritone
Daniel Eifert is a long-standing member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus as well as the Grant Park Music Festival Chorus. A frequent soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Daniel made his debut in Golijov’s opera Ainadamar and his Chicago Symphony Chorus solo debut in their 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert. The Chicago Classical Review acclaimed him as a “darkly resonant Pilate” in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 2010 rendition of Bach’s St. John Passion. Most recently, Daniel held minor roles in Verdi’s Macbeth under the direction of Riccardo Muti and sang the role of Kurwenal in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde under Esa-Pekka Salonen. Daniel has also been featured with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Grant Park Music Festival, the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, and the Elgin Choral Union. Daniel made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Orff ’s Carmina Burana in 2012. Daniel is a recurrent soloist with the Cuesta Master Chorale of California, performing Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, the Beethoven Missa Solemnis, and Haydn’s Creation. He enjoys a continuing collaboration with the Bach Institute of Valparaiso University, where his solo performances have included Bach’s St. John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, Mass in B Minor, and the Christmas Oratorio. He attended Valparaiso University and the University of Minnesota and currently resides in Wisconsin with his wife and three children.
Anne Marie Bice, Soprano
Soprano Anne Marie Ouverson Bice has performed and taught in the Chicagoland area since 2001 and has been on the Voice Faculty at Valparaiso University since 2014. She has been a member of both the Chicago Chorale and the Chicago Symphony Chorus and is privileged to have worked under many world-renowned conductors including Riccardo Muti, Helmuth Rilling, Sir David Willcocks, and Weston Noble.
As a featured soloist, Ms. Ouverson Bice has appeared in many works, including Respighi’s Lauda per la Natività del Signore, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb and Ceremony of Carols, Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem and Missa Brevis. Professor Bice is a member of Valparaiso University’s Bach Institute both as chorister and soloist. She performed with the group in Leipzig, Germany at the St. Thomaskirke. Ms. Ouverson Bice was thrilled to premiere the role of Heloise d’Argenteuil in Dennis Friesen-Carper’s opera, I Will Sing Him Down the Years at Valparaiso University in 2015.
Professor Bice holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from Luther College and a Masters of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University. She is a member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) having served on the Chicago Chapter Board.
Steven Ovitsky, Shofar
Steven Ovitsky is Executive Director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. His previous positions include President and Executive Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Vice President and General Manager of the Minnesota Orchestra and General Director of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.
Ovitsky is shofar soloist on the Naxos CD of Tekiatot by Hugo Weisgall with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Gerard Schwarz, and is music director of the Hollywood Theatre of the Ear’s award-winning recordings of “Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls”, “The Dybbuk”, and “St. Joan”.
As a horn player he has performed with New Mexico Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, Opera Southwest, Keith Brion’s New Sousa Band, New York Philomusica, Seoul Philharmonic, and Lake George Opera.
He was vice-president of Chamber Music America and has chaired and served on numerous panels for National Endowment for the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, Chamber Music America, and the League of American Orchestras. Steve is also active as a lecturer on Jewish music.
The Valparaiso University Chorale and Bach Choir
The Valparaiso University Chorale continues to earn acclaim as one of the top Lutheran collegiate choirs in the United States, upholding the highest standard of choral art through performance of the greatest choral literature of all eras and preserving the University’s rich choral tradition, which dates back to the early 20th century. The 48-mixed voice ensemble performs an eclectic repertoire that spans from traditional to significant contemporary works, all in their original languages, and to selections that express multicultural perspectives. Under the direction of Dr. Christopher M. Cock, who has sustained the University’s choral tradition for over two decades, the ensemble maintains an active annual schedule of touring, performing and recording. Continue reading…
Charles Rearick, Visiting Scholar
Dr. Charles Rearick is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and author of the definitive study of La Madelon, published in the Journal of French Cultural Studies. Dr. Rearick’s writings include Beyond the Enlightenment: Historians and Folklore in Nineteenth-Century France (1974), Pleasures of the Belle Époque: Entertainment and Festivity in Turn-of-the-Century France (1985), The French in Love and War: Popular Culture in the Era of the World Wars (1997), and Paris Dreams, Paris Memories: The City and Its Mystique (2011).
Keith Kinder, Visiting Scholar
As a service to the community, Rembrandt Chamber Musicians and the Valparaiso University Music Department are sponsoring a series of talks at Chicago-area schools by Dr. Keith Kinder about music for wind instruments and voices. Dr. Kinder is Professor Emeritus (Music) in the School of the Arts at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. During his tenure at McMaster, he conducted the McMaster Chamber Orchestra and the McMaster Concert Band, and was responsible for the Music Education program. He served as Director of the School of the Arts for nine years. Prior to his appointment at McMaster, Dr. Kinder served on the faculty of the University of Prince Edward Island, and taught instrumental music in the schools of Nova Scotia. He holds degrees from the University of Western Ontario (B. Mus. – Mus. Ed.), Northwestern University (M. Mus. – Trombone Performance), and the University of Colorado (D.M.A. – Instrumental Conducting). An internationally recognized researcher on wind band music, Dr. Kinder appears regularly at conferences worldwide and publishes in international journals dedicated to his research interests. He is the author of Best Music for Chorus and Winds (Manhattan Beach), The Wind and Wind-Chorus Music of Anton Bruckner (Greenwood), Prophetic Trumpets: Homage, Worship and Celebration in the Wind Band Music of Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt (Pendragon) and This Awareness of Beauty: The Orchestral and Wind Band Music of Healey Willan (Wilfrid Laurier University Press).