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College Choir and soloists to sing Bach Advent cantatas
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Musicians from SUNY Fredonia and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra will join several featured soloists in performing three of the J.S. Bach Advent Cantatas on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 8 p.m. in Rosch Recital Hall at SUNY Fredonia. Dr. Gerald Thomas Gray of the Fredonia School of Music will conduct.

The professional soloists, all renowned for their singing of Baroque music, are Janet Brown, soprano; Daniel Bubeck, countertenor; Joe Dan Harper, tenor; and Mark Andrew Cleveland, baritone. They will be joined by the Fredonia College Choir and the Western New York Chamber Orchestra.

A touring ensemble of student vocalists, the College Choir studies and performs major choral works in addition to standard sacred and secular music. It has performed at Philharmonic Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City and with Buffalo, Utica, Syracuse, and Rochester philharmonic orchestras.

The beloved seasonal chorale, “Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring,” is included in one of the three cantatas to be performed at the concert.

Wednesday evening’s program includes three cantatas which Bach specifically composed for Advent: “Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!” “Nun komm der Heiden Heiland,” and “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben.”

“The music is lively, beautiful and deeply moving,” conductor Dr. Gray said. “The masterful playing and singing of the choir and orchestra, combined with the intimate and acoustically superb Juliet J. Rosch Recital Hall, promises an evening of memorable music.”

Seating is limited and last year the concert sold out, Marc Levy, Fredonia School of Music Special Projects director, said. Tickets, which are $15 for the general public and $10 for students, are available now at the Central Ticket Office (716) 673-3501 in the Williams Center.


A frequent recitalist and critically-acclaimed recording artist, Ms. Brown is instructor of voice and academic coordinator at Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music.

A noted specialist in music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Mr. Bubeck has performed with the major symphonies of the U.S. and in international venues.

Founder and co-director of the Boston-based Florestan Recital Project, which is dedicated to the art of the song recital, Mr. Harper teaches voice at the Fredonia School of Music. The Texas native has distinguished himself as a versatile singer of concert, recital and chamber music repertoire.

Mr. Cleveland is the director of music at Grace Episcopal Church in Manchester, N.H. and is a member of the voice faculties at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, St. Paul’s School, and Phillips Exeter Academy.

The conductor

Dr. Gray, a member of the Fredonia School of Music faculty, has studied choral and orchestral conducting at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Iowa. He is a professional chorister who has sung with major ensembles in cities of the U.S. and abroad, and is a tenor soloist who specializes in music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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