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Sing Softly and Carry a Big Stick

tuesday, march 11, 7:30pm
ashland, oregon
guest artist: sou chamber choir

The Music program of the Department of Performing Arts at Southern Oregon University presents the SOU Percussion Ensembles and SOU Chamber Choir in a performance that has been twelve years in the making, titled “Sing Softly and Carry a Big Stick.” The two-hour concert, with an intermission, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the SOU Music Recital Hall.

The SOU Percussion Ensembles, under the direction of Dr. Terry Longshore, will perform an exciting array of music by composers Bryan Jeffs, Erik Griswold, Lou Harrison and Bob Becker. The SOU Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. Paul French, joins the ensemble on two world premieres by SOU composers Jodi French and Jeff Richmond. The concert also features the debut of the new SOU Graduate Percussion Group. Classical, jazz and pop influences are threaded throughout the evening’s musical selections.

Longshore, the director of Percussion Studies at SOU, is particularly excited to present three brand-new pieces composed by well-known locals and faculty members. Dr. Jeff Richmond, director of jazz and band studies at SOU, has composed “The Burden to Inspire Joy” specifically for this collaboration of percussion and choir, full of soulful harmonies in gorgeous vocal lines, underscored by groove-based, melodic rhythms. Longshore says this piece is “incredibly beautiful and at the same time, hip and modern.” Ashland favorite, Jodi French, has also composed an original piece, “The War God,” to showcase the interplay between percussion and choir.

Longshore describes “The Rebel Frog Goes Dancing,” composed by SOU Faculty Bryan Jeffs, “as a sequel to a previous piece. This number is such a joy to perform. It is a quirky, poppy, jazzy piece that features Jeff Richmond as a flugelhorn soloist. You’ll never hear anything like it.”

Longshore notes that “fans of our Percussion Ensembles and Chamber Choir will be particularly delighted by this collaboration. We are proud to introduce our Masters of Music students in the brand-new SOU Graduate Percussion Group. Percussion is such a physically dynamic activity that audiences will love to see them in action.”

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for senior citizens, and free to full-time students. The Performing Arts Box Office is located in the Theatre Arts Building lobby. Box office hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and two hours prior to each performance. Tickets can be purchased with a credit card over the phone by calling 541-552-6348 or online at sou.edu/performingarts. Contact the box office for discounts offered to SOU alumni, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute participants and SNAP/Oregon Trail cardholders.