GRACE NOTES: A sellout at CU; RM Chorale; Transfigured Night

All performances of CU’s Chicago are sold out, but RMC and Pro Musica have tickets

By Peter Alexander April 25 at 10:55 p.m.

If the “Merry Muderesses” of Kander and Ebb’s Chicago are your cup of tea, you might be out of luck.

That is, unless you already have your ticket to the CU College Music production this weekend. The five performances in the Music Theatre of the Imig Music Building are completely sold out. The box office has a wait list that you can join HERE.

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John Kander and Fred Ebb: Chicago
CU College of Music

7:30 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, April 27–29
2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday April 29 and 30

Music Theater


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Jimmy Howe, conductor of the Rocky Mountain Chorale, wanted plenty of variety in the group’s spring program.

To achieve that, he hit upon the idea of a “composite mass,” settings of the five sections of the Mass Proper by five different composers. He himself provided the music for the first movement Kyrie, a movement that he described in program notes as “set to mimic classical style.” Other movements are by actual Baroque and Classical-era composers, plus one living composer. 

The Gloria movement is by Vivaldi, the Credo  by Schubert. They will be followed by “The Ground” from the Sunrise Mass of Norwegian-American composer Ola Gjielo, representing the Hosanna movement. The Composite Mass concludes with the Agnus Dei from Joseph Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli (Mass in time of war).

The other major work on the program is The Hope of Living, a five-part work for chorus and string quartet by Jake Runestad. In his description of the score, Runestad wrote “I continue to dwell on the importance and impact of love—love shown to others and love shown to oneself.” Commissioned by the Miami-based choral group Seraphic Fire, the five movements of The Hope of Loving are based on mystical writings about love selected by the composer.

Howe filled out the program with shorter works by himself, Susan Blockoff and Mark Sirrett.

A mixed choir of more than 60 singers, the Rocky Mountain Chorale was founded in 1978. Their repertoire typically includes classical works as well as pop and world folk music.

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“Hope of Loving”
Rocky Mountain Chorale, Jimmy Howe, conductor
With Parker Steinmetz, asst. conductor; Walton Lott, piano
Jennifer Crim and Marci Pilon, violin; Aaron Lockhart, viola; Desiree Anderson, cello

Program includes: 

  • Composite Mass:
    —Jimmy Howe: Kyrie
    —Vivaldi: Gloria
    —Schubert: Credo
    —Ola Gjeilo: Hosanna from Sunrise Mass
    —Haydn: Agnus Dei from Missa in tempore belli (Mass in time of war)
  • Jake Runestad: The Hope of Living
    —I. “Yield to Love”
    —II. “Wild Forces”
    —III. “Wondrous Creatures”
    —IV. “My Soul is a Candle”
    —V. “The Hope of Loving”

7:30 p.m. Friday April 28, Heart of Longmont Church, Longmont
7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, First Methodist Church, Boulder


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A solar eclipse in the mountains, a magical night in the forest, and a little Mozart: Those are the ingredients of the next program to be presented by the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra of Colorado Saturday (7:30 p.m. April 29; details below).

The concert, led by Pro Musica’s music director Cynthia Katsarelis, will also feature violinist Harumi Rhodes and violist Richard O’Neill, both members of the Takács String Quartet.

Composer Anne Guzzo

The program opens with The Bear and the Eclipse by Anne M. Guzzo, a faculty member at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Inspired by and dedicated to the bears of Grand Teton National Park, the score portrays the story of a bear experiencing, and being transformed by, a solar eclipse.

As a bookend to The Bear and the Eclipse, Schoenberg’s Verklárte Nacht closes the program. A work with its feet equally planted in both the richly Romantic style of the late 19th century and the expressionistic style of the early 20th century, it is a musical interpretation of a poem describing a man and woman walking through the forest on a moonlit night. The woman confesses a troubling secret and finds that the man’s love has transfigured the darkness to splendor. 

In her program notes, Katsarelis wrote “I love the stories in both (pieces). One is an origin story for the solar and lunar eclipses . . . and ‘Transfigured Night’ is the story of a woman overcoming the fear of telling her story. . . . The whole program is about human connection in the context of cosmic beauty.”

The central pillar of the program is Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra, featuring the two soloists. Essentially a concerto with more than one soloist, the Sinfonia Concertante was a popular genre in 18th-century Paris and Mannheim, two cities Mozart visited on his travels. “The music is sublimely beautiful and the interaction between the violin and viola soloists is not to be missed,” Kartsarelis wrote. 

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“Transfigured Night”
Pro Musical Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Cynthia Katsarelis, conductor
With Harumi Rhodes, violin, and Richard O’Neill, viola

  • Anne M. Guzzo: The Bear and the Eclipse
  • Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat major for violin, viola and orchestra, K364 
  • Schoenberg: Verklárte Nacht (Transfigured night)

7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29
Mountain View United Methodist Church, 355 Ponca Pl., Boulder


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