Choir to Perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah

By Lauren Fellers

Students can spend this weekend enjoying the arts at a show put on by their peers. On April 14 the Southwestern Chorale will be performing Felix Mendelssohn’s celebrated oratorio Elijah with the San Gabriel Choir.

The show will take place in the Alma Thomas Theater at 7 p.m., and students may attend free of charge provided they bring their SU ID. Any non-students wishing to attend will have to pay a $20 entrance fee. Tickets do not need to be purchased in advance.

Dr. Kenny Sheppard, Professor of Music and the conductor of the university Chorale, has been rehearsing with students throughout the year and is enthusiastic about the upcoming performance.

“[Elijah] is one of Mendelssohn’s greatest works, and we are all thrilled to be performing it. The audience may recognize such favorites as “He watching over Israel,” “If with all your hearts,” and “Lift thine eyes,” Dr. Sheppard said.

The performance is particularly important to senior Ethan Lane-Miller, who will be performing for his last time before graduation.

“We’ve been rehearsing for literally the entire semester. It’s a pretty big deal and I fully expect the final performance to be amazing, ” Lane-Miller said.

This production of Elijah is, at its heart, a collaborative performance: in addition to the San Gabriel Choir, the Chorale will be accompanied by a professional orchestra. Among those members of Southwestern who will be performing solos are Professor of Music Dr. Bruce Cain, in the role of Elijah, and students Katie De La Vega, Melanie Bonevac, Keeley Hooker, Allie Bryan, Anne Fenley, Melissa Krueger, Joe Kraft, and Cris Luna.

Lane-Mille anticipates that the effort invested in organizing Elijah will pay off in full.

“The sheer amount of work and energy that the Chorale and Dr. Sheppard have put into
preparing this is astounding, and I really hope it shows in our performance,” Lane-Miller said.


Guest Artists Speak About Feminism and Performance

Abbie Constant and William Osbourne.  Courtesy of Google Image Search.

Abbie Constant and William Osbourne. Courtesy of Google Image Search.

Guest artists Abbie Conant and William Osborne will be visiting Southwestern Jan. 26-28. While on campus, they will speak about the European salon movements and their role in the development of feminism and other forms of egalitarianism. The talk will be followed by a performance of their musical theatre piece “Street Scene for the Last Mad Soprano.” Additionally, they will participate on a panel with SU faculty members Kathleen Juhl and Star Varner, discussing the topic “Feminism in Performance.”

Varner’s upcoming art installation “Mysteries Revisited” deals with the frescoes from the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii reinterpreted through a feminist and autobiographical lens. Regarding the panel, she said, “Art played an important role in advancing feminism…Even though the other participants [in the panel] are performance artists and I’m a visual artist, there are many connections.”
Conant and Osborne’s visit was brought about through the efforts of SU trombone professor Dr. Eileen Meyer Russel, who studied under Conant’s teacher M. Dee Stewart at her alma mater, Temple University in Philadelphia.

“Street Scene for the Last Mad Soprano” will be performed on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theatre, and the panel discussion will occur at 4 p.m. the next day. Finally, on Jan. 28, they will present another work, the multimedia piece “Music for the End of Time.”