SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Tonight's the night: The Slippery Rock University Choir is collaborating with the Erie Chamber Orchestra to present Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass in concert at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of the Covenant. The choir, directed by Stephen Barr, SRU associate professor of music, will showcase the vocal talent of 71 students. Matthew Kraemer, orchestra conductor, will conduct.
Steve Weiser, executive director of the orchestra, said the orchestra reached out to Barr because Kraemer is familiar with Barr's work with SRU students, thinks highly of the singers, and wanted to organize a collaborative concert.
"We invited them to come up, to build a new and stronger relationship," Weiser said.
"The fact that they asked us to come up and sing is evidence of the quality of our program and the quality of our students," Barr said.
The choir has rehearsed more than 20 times - twice a week - to prepare. The main thrust of the practice has been to learn the work and prepare for working with a different conductor and talking about singing strategy, he said. "It will be a great experience for them, to perform in a large church in Erie," Barr said. "For many, it will be a once-in-a lifetime opportunity."
The Lord Nelson Mass is one of 14 Masses written by Franz Hyden (1732-1809). It is one of the few in a minor key, D minor.
The concert will feature four vocal soloists - Shannon Kessler Dooley, Katherine Drago, Robert Frankenberry and John Dooley. They sing with the Pittsburgh Opera.
The First United Methodist Church of the Covenant at 250 W. Seventh St. Admission is free.
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.