group of chorus members from 2022 spring concert

Spring Choral Concert on Sunday, April 28, to feature “Requiem”

Published on April 23, 2024

ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University’s annual Spring Choral Concert will be Sunday, April 28, at 4 p.m., and features a performance of “Requiem” by John Rutter. Four ensembles—the AU Choir, the AU Chamber Singers, the Ashland Area Chorus and the Ashland Chamber Orchestra—will perform during the event, which takes place at Jack and Deb Miller Chapel. It is free and open to the public.

The Chamber Singers, a select choir of 12 AU students, will open with four modern songs, including the challenging “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” made famous by the Manhattan Transfer. They will also sing “Wanting Memories,” consisting of a simple melody and thought-provoking text, “Icarus,” a jazz tune about a mythological figure who flew too close to the sun, and “I’m a Train,” a fast-paced, humorous number from the point of view of a train.

“Requiem,” a multi-movement work based in part on the traditional Latin Requiem Mass and in part on other Christian writings, will be performed by the AU Choir and the Ashland Area Chorus with the Ashland Chamber Orchestra. The seven sections of the piece contain prayers on behalf of all humanity, psalms, personal prayers to Christ and the Sanctus, an affirmation of divine glory.

Notable, the concert will include solos by AU students Lily Dowler and Meredith Morgan, as well as AU alumna Elisha Noon.

Rowland Blackley, director of choral activities and a professor of music at AU, will serve as the conductor. He is particularly excited about leading the “Requiem.”

“This piece is a rare delight. Rutter seamlessly combines old and new. He (meshes) side-by-side chant-like passages and soaring melodies, intense dissonance and a Gospel blues sound. There are sublimely intimate sections and grand, operatic choruses. (It is) both musically and spiritually compelling,” said Blackley.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.