SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -The Slippery Rock University choirs and Wind Ensemble, showcasing more than 120 students, will perform songs of fortune, luck and love when they present "Carmina Burana" at 7:30 p.m., May 12. The performance is at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Butler.
"This performance is going to easily be one of the coolest things we've done in the seven years I've been here, maybe the greatest thing we've done," said Stephen Barr, SRU assistant professor of music and performance director.
"The difficulty of the piece and the coordination and hard work students have put in will make it really great," he said.
The SRU choirs includes 70 students who are members of the SRU Concert Choir, Chamber Singers and Women's Choir. The Wind Ensemble includes 50 woodwind and brass players, plus percussion and piano.
Sean Douglas, a music education major from Shinglehouse, Raymond Blackwell, a pianist from Pittsburgh, and Christiana Howell, a 2008 SRU music education graduate, will perform solos.
"Carmina Burana" is a scenic cantata composed by Carl Orff in 1936 based on 24 of the poems found in the medieval collection, "Carmina Burana." It includes songs and choruses to be sung with instruments. The first and last movements are called "Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi" and start with the well-known "O Fortuna."
Barr said the secular piece is divided into several sets of songs, including songs of good fortune, luck, spring and evil love songs.
Barr said the composer considered it his most famous and successful work, telling his publisher to tear up and throw away his other compositions because they meant nothing by comparison.
Barr works with many SRU music majors focusing on vocal performance. He conducts the University Choir, Chamber Singers and Women's Choir.
He teaches music theory, ear training, vocal conducting, secondary choral methods and music technology. His doctorate in music is from West Virginia University, where he received the prestigious Swinger Fellowship.
Tickets for "Carmina Burana," available at the door, are $10 for adults, $5 for SRU students. The church is at 230 E. Jefferson St.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.