MC Homecoming Choir to perform commissioned piece for Bicentennial

MC Homecoming Choir to perform commissioned piece for Bicentennial Oct. 19 

Oct. 8, 2019 

The Maryville College Homecoming Choir will present its annual concert on Sat., Oct. 19, 2019, as part of the College’s Bicentennial Homecoming festivities.

The choir, which features current and former MC choir members, will perform at 11 a.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Homecoming Choir concert, which is one of the most popular events annually at Homecoming, will be directed by Stacey Wilner, director of choral activities at MC, and Alan Eleazer, conductor of the MC Community Chorus.

This year’s concert will feature a special composition, titled “People Are the Key,” by composer Paul John Rudoi that was commissioned for the Bicentennial. The performance of the piece will include the choir, as well as a soloist, violinist, bodhran player and guitarist. Choir alumni organized a fundraiser to finance the commissioned work.

Rudoi is an award-winning composer, conductor, tenor vocalist and arts entrepreneur. Deemed “indisputably unique, confident, and innovative” through the American Prize, his compositions have been commissioned and performed worldwide. As a professional tenor vocalist, he has performed and recorded a wide range of music in professional ensembles nationwide including Seraphic Fire, The Santa Fe Desert Chorale and Cantus. Rudoi is also a fierce advocate for new music trends, resources and issues. He is the co-founder of “Consortio,” an online consortium building platform designed to help composers, conductors and ensembles find common themes and interests for consortium-based commissioning while offering tools and services to make such commissioning more readily accessible and feasible. Rudoi holds degrees from the Hartt School and the University of Oregon. His teachers have included Dr. Sharon Paul, Robert Kyr, Libby Larsen and Dr. Edward Bolkovac.

“In a time when our world seems to be focusing on differences, it will be refreshing to experience the coming together of generations of singers, composers and communities in a celebration of music,” Wilner said. “The composer has incorporated partial quotes by MC founder Isaac Anderson and the Maryville town motto, excerpted lines from poetry by Robert Burns and the second verse of the Maryville College Alma Mater. He has written the piece in the style of a Scottish ballad, but put together in more of a folk song format. We hope performance of this commissioned work will feel like a timeless moment that will speak to all the generations who have been a part of the growth of Maryville College and the community at large. Paul Rudoi has expressed that the goal of ‘People Are the Key’ is to feel as one group celebrating each other's culture, contributions and connections.”

In addition to “People Are the Key,” other selections that will be performed during the Oct. 19 concert include “Scotland Medley” by Dr. James Laster ’56 and “A New Covenant” by Louise Wyman ’57. Lindsey Lively ‘20 will conduct Off Kilter for performances of “Find Grace in Thee” and “Sturdy as a Rock,” which Lively composed for the spring 2019 production of the original play “Sturdy as a Rock: Our Bicentennial Story.” All of these composers will be featured at a Composer’s Roundtable Discussion at 2 p.m. on Fri., Oct. 18, in the Harry H. Harter Choral Rehearsal Room of the Clayton Center for the Arts.

England & Scotland tour information session

Following the Homecoming Choir concert, an information session on the upcoming “Of Stones and Stars” choir tour will be held in the Harry H. Harter Choral Rehearsal Room at 12:15 p.m.

This trip to England and Scotland is open to alumni, friends and family of Maryville College Concert Choir members. In London, trip highlights will include the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, as well as a concert performance by the MC Concert Choir at Gresham Hall. Before heading to Scotland, participants will tour Kings College, Cambridge, attend Evensong at York Minster and learn about York Minster's role in Viking York.

Once in Scotland, the group will go to Rosslyn Chapel for a tour and informal performance by the MC Concert Choir, a full day in the coastal town of St. Andrews, and a day in the town of Sterling, a beautifully preserved town with cobbled streets, historic buildings and an impressive castle. Here, attendees will hear an exchange concert with the Heart of Scotland Choir and the MC Concert Choir. The tour ends in glorious Edinburgh, where the group will spend two days touring this city full of history, including stops at Edinburgh Castle, St. Margaret's Chapel, St. Cecelia's Hall, Concert and Music Museum, and St. Giles Cathedral, the principal place of worship in Scotland. Participants will also hear a final performance by the MC Concert Choir.

Trip price includes airfare, accommodations, tour guides and excursion/entrance costs, all concerts, as well as breakfast and dinner daily.

Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”