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World Premiere of ‘Prayer of Serenity’ to Highlight Fall Choral Showcase


Morehead State University’s Concert Choir will perform the world premiere of “Prayer of Serenity” by Georgia composer Robert Kirby on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Morehead as part of its Fall Choral Showcase.

Before the concert, MSU’s Concert Choir will host the 2013 Italian Dinner at 6 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 123 East Main Street.

Proceeds from the dinner will support the Choir’s 2014 Ireland tour. As part of the international tour, the group will present a concert in Morehead’s sister city, Ballymena, and compete in the Mayo International Choral Festival.

Entertainment throughout the dinner will be provided by various soloists and ensembles.

Tickets are $9 for adults and $5 for children and may be secured by calling 606-783-2480 or 513-373-3480. Tickets will be available at the door.

The annual Fall Choral Showcase Concert will follow at 8 p.m. in the First Baptist sanctuary. Chamber Singers, Jazz Vocal Ensemble, University Chorus, Black Gospel Ensemble and Concert Choir all will take part in the concert. The groups are conducted by Drs. Greg Detweiler and Roosevelt Escalante.

The concert is free of charge.

Chamber Singers will open the concert with Francisco F. Feliciano’s playful Pokpok Alimpako. The piece is based on a Filipino children’s circle game and the music of the Kulintang, a traditional Filipino ensemble consisting of seven or eight knobbed gongs which enter one at a time in special rhythmic patterns to create a layered sound effect. The singers will follow this piece with the Italian Vita De La Mia Vita by William Hawley. For a sampler of the upcoming December Madrigal Dinner, Chamber Singers will also perform Christmas Time Is Here arranged by Audrey Snider and Gaudete from Two Medieval Lyrics by Steven Sametz.

University Chorus, Jazz Vocal Ensemble and the Black Gospel Ensemble will provide the interior of the concert. University Chorus will sing Something by Sheldon Rose and the women of the chorus will perform Niagra Sun by Pablo Casals and Dance with Me by Samuel Rosenbaum. Jazz Vocal Ensemble will continue the concert with Warm Up by Larry Lapin, How High The Moon by Nancy Hamilton and Morgan Lewis, and Love Walked In by George and Ira Gershwin. The Black Gospel Ensemble will perform Right Place by Jonathan Nelson, Give Him Glory Deandre Patterson, God is Here by Martha Munizzi, and Say the Word by Rodnie Bryant.

The Concert Choir will conclude the concert with pieces in two sets. The first, a series of three sacred pieces: Exultate Deo by Palestrina, O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen, and The Conversion of Saul by Z. Randall Stroope.

Concert Choir will be joined by the Rowan County Senior High School Choir and Dr. John Viton, oboe, for the second set. The set will be presented as a tribute to Molly McBride, who was killed in a traffic accident in May. She was an MSU student and daughter of Dr. M. Scott and Jill McBride.

The first piece, Goodnight Dear Heart by Dan Forrest, captures the poem which Mark Twain placed on the tombstone of his beloved daughter Susy, when she died unexpectedly at the age of 24 and left him heartbroken. This piece will be followed with the world premiere of Kirby’s Prayer of Serenity.

Dr. McBride was Kirby’s college band director at Jacksonville State University.

"Dr. McBride was a teacher, a counselor, a mentor, and a father to many of us. I am deeply saddened by his loss and I am honored to present this musical offering as a tribute to his beloved daughter, Molly,” said Kirby. “The entire prayer is a plea to God for serenity, courage, and wisdom in difficult times. It acknowledges that we must learn to accept things as they are on earth and to be reasonably happy in this life with the confidence that we will be supremely happy in Heaven.”

McBride was a junior biomedical sciences major at MSU and was planning for a career as a physician’s assistant. A 2010 graduate of Rowan County Senior High School, she was a oboist in the school band program and a regular member of the annual Kentucky Music Educators Association district honor band.

She was known as a dedicated student who enjoyed helping others, especially through her work as a tutor in the University’s Tutoring and Learning Center. McBride’s friends say that she was “the best person they had ever known.”

Contributions to the Molly C. McBride Endowment for Student Success at MSU are accepted by contacting the MSU Foundation, Palmer House, 150 University Blvd., Morehead, KY 40351.

Additional information on the dinner and concert is available by calling Dr. Detweiler at 606-783-2480.

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