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Europe’s loss, Summit’s gain

SILVERTHORNE – The Summit County Choir had planned to sing its sacred songs and folk tunes in Budapest, Prague and Vienna during a European tour this summer, but it’s going to have to settle for filling the Silverthorne Pavilion with its deep and melodious tones.

The choir canceled its European tour, scheduled for June 15-26, because of the war in Iraq, but it’s going to perform the planned European program at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 28, at the Silverthorne Pavilion.

The choir has performed in Washington, D.C., and at Carnegie Hall, but this was the first concert series scheduled outside of the United States. European mayors invited the group to sing as part of their Celebration of American Music. The choir hopes to reschedule the tour for summer 2004, said choral director Kaye Mero.



“We picked the music because it has been successful in previous tours,” said Mero, who consulted with other conductors who have toured Europe.

Monday’s program comprises sacred and secular music, including “Set Me as a Seal,” by Rene Clausen, “At the River,” by Aaron Copland, “Agnus Dei,” by Samuel Barber, and the spiritual “Ride the Chariot.”



“Agnus Dei” is the most difficult piece the choir will perform. Written in Latin, the piece demands choir members to sing nine different notes in unison (much like playing a nine-note chord).

“Choir members like the security of having everyone around them singing the same thing they’re singing,” said former choir board member Christine Kucera. “(The piece) has long, sustained tones – notes that are longer than any singer can hold, so as a group, you have to sneak in and out and stagger your breathing (to sustain the notes).”

For less challenging songs, the choir will stand in a staggered formation, which places each of the 30 members next to someone who is not singing the same voice part. The formation increases the difficulty of the piece, and it enriches the sound.

“When sound projects from a choir, it has to mix before you hear it for it to sound good,” Kucera said. “(The formation) allows the sound to mix before it leaves the stage, and it makes each person make a larger effort to be heard.”

After Monday’s concert, the choir will begin rehearsals for its summer concert with the Breckenridge Music Institute, scheduled for July 26. The concert features Joseph Haydn’s “Te Deum” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy.”

The choir is accepting new members, and rehearsals begin Monday, May 5, at the Community and Senior Center in Frisco. For more information, call (970) 453-7174.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at knicoletti@summitdaily.com.

Event: Summit County Choral Society

When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 28

Where: Silverthorne Pavilion


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