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Lake Land College sets rehearsal dates for community choir, inviting all area singers to participate

Rehearsals for the Lake Land College Community Choir are set to begin Tuesday, Feb. 19 in preparation for a unique performing opportunity in cooperation with the Eastern Illinois University Symphony Orchestra and choirs from the Mattoon High School and Mattoon Middle School.

“I am thrilled to be able to offer to singers within the Lake Land district the chance to perform a time-tested musical work,” said Nancy Caldwell, director of the community choir. “Singing in a mass choir accompanied by orchestra is tremendously rewarding.  I encourage anyone who is interested to join the group.” 

For the performance, the ensembles will come together in a performance of “Carmina Burana” by composer Carl Orff on Sunday, April 21 at 4 p.m. in Dvorak Hall at the Doudna Fine Arts Center at Eastern Illinois University.

The lyrics to “Carmina Burana” date back to the 11th and 12th centuries, coming from southern Germany, western Austria, and northern Italy.  The poems were created by students studying for the priesthood as a diversion from their studies; most of them are about love, drinking and gambling, and other pastimes.  Orff, chose 24 of the 254 poems in the collection to set to music when he wrote the piece from 1935-1936.  The work has become a staple in the repertoire of choirs and orchestras around the world, and its powerful opening number, “O Fortuna,” has been used in advertisements from cars to Gatorade.  It is also a familiar element in many film scores.

All rehearsals for the Lake Land College Community Choir will be held from 7-9:30 p.m. on campus in the Luther Student Center Theater. The choir will meet for eight consecutive weeks to rehearse and will join the other choirs for combined rehearsals the week before the concert. 

“This is a tremendously exciting opportunity to sing in a group of more than one hundred voices, with an orchestra, and to sing a truly wonderful and historic work in the classical repertoire,” said Caldwell. 

For inquiries, contact Caldwell at (217) 234-5464.

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