A concert featuring uplifting arrangements from Jewish traditions across the globe — Sephardic, Israeli, Yemenite, Ashkenazi, Hassidic and more — will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 at The Presbyterian Church In Geneva, 24 Park Place. Featured performers will be the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Chorale and Syracuse Vocal Ensemble, both directed by Professor Robert Cowles.
The program, “Choral Music from the Jewish Tradition,” will be devoted to the rich diversity within the world of Jewish choral music, and include ornate chants for the medieval synagogue to recent compositions for the concert hall. Concluding the evening will be a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” accompanied by organ, harp and percussion. This three-movement piece, commissioned in 1965 by the Chichester and Salisbury cathedrals, has been called “probably the principal encounter with Hebrew choral music for much of the musical world.” It is often programmed to show the connection between Jewish and Christian liturgical traditions, arising from their common reliance on the Book of Psalms.
The concert will be repeated at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, at the Syracuse Credit Union Center for the Arts, 728 E. Genesee St., Syracuse.
Tickets are $12 general admission, $5 for HWS students, and $10 for senior citizens and students from other schools. Tickets can be reserved by calling (315) 637-3899; they will also be available at the door.
The HWS Colleges Chorale is a mixed ensemble comprising the finest student vocal talent on campus. Members are accepted into this 40-voice ensemble after an audition process involving evaluation of their vocal technique and musicianship. The Chorale performs a wide range of a cappella choral selections from the Middle Ages to the present day.
Cowles, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College, a master of music from The New England Conservatory of Music and a doctor of music from Indiana University, joined the faculty in 1992 and currently chairs the Department of Music. He typically teaches courses in music theory and conducting, and has a particular interest in contemporary choral music and the choral music of Estonia, where he taught as a Fulbright Scholar during the 2001-02 academic year.
Since 1973, the Syracuse Vocal Ensemble has served Central New York with excellent choral programming and performance. The Ensemble’s artistry, range of repertoire and quality of sound have brought invitations to collaborate with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Open Hand Theatre, Society for New Music, Skaneateles Festival and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. Cowles has been artistic director since 1996.