Edward Berger of Topeka and members of Heidelberg University's Symphonic Band are preparing for their spring concert, the Aussie-themed "We Come from a Land Down Under" on Saturday, April 26.
Berger, a freshman majoring in Music, plays the percussion in the 43-band, whose members are selected by audition. The band plays campus concerts, festival, convention and tour concerts. Its repertoire is chosen from standard and contemporary band literature, utilizing various instrumental combinations.
Berger is also among the 47 members of the Heidelberg University Concert Choir and Chamber Singers preparing for the final concert of the academic year as well as the upcoming annual spring tour. The upcoming tour will take Berger, who sings tenor, and the choir to the East Coast for a series of performances May 13-18.
For its home concert April 27, the choir will perform a program with the theme "British Invasion." Under the direction of Dr. Greg Ramsdell, the choir is the premiere mixed choral ensemble of the university's School of Music & Theatre. Repertoire for the home concert will reflect on America's fascination with many aspects of British culture.
"The theme is a deliberate reference to that time in the mid-'60s when America seemed to be completely enthralled with all things British," Ramsdell said. "It seems that we are once again in the midst of just such a cultural fascination."
"In our own unique way, we too will be paying homage in our concert program because all of our music has some sort of connection to our friends across the pond. In most cases, the relationship is direct: many of the pieces were written by British composers; others are settings of British poetry. Conversely, some of the associations are more tenuous," he added.
Highlighting the choir's program will be an arrangement of the Beatles' "In My Life." The choir also will perform Lloyd Pfautsch's setting of Andrew Marvell's "Musicks Empire," which describes the role of music from infancy to maturity, and Dale Grontenhuis' rollicking arrangement of "O No, John," which explores the theme of how success in courting often begins simply by learning to ask the right question.
Several selections feature solos or accompaniment by students from the choir. Featured soloists include Collin Stump and Kristina Kamm, while organ accompaniment will be provided by Stephen Smith and Melissa Flowers.
Founded in 1850, Heidelberg offers 30 majors, 29 minors and 10 pre-professional programs, awarding the bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, bachelor of music degrees, as well as master's degrees in education, counseling, business administration and music.