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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Ensemble to perform for Valentine’s day

    Ah, Valentines Day. For some, it is a day of utter romantic bliss, and for others, it is one of depressing singledom. Whatever your Valentine’s Day status may be, Collegium Musicum’s performance of “”Love Sacred, Love Profane: A Day in the Life of a Holy Traveler,”” a concert of Western European love songs from the 12th through 18th centuries, will be sure to bring out the romantic in anyone.

    Collegium, UA’s early-music ensemble, consists of 37 UA participants who share an interest in performing music that was written before 1750. Although open to all choral and instrumental students, this particular ensemble attracts a lot of graduate students and even many faculty and staff members.

    “”We don’t just stick Sally Freshman or Joe Freshman in Collegium,”” said Lani Johnson, a graduate student in women’s studies and choral conducting and one of three conductors in Collegium. “”We find that they have some prior knowledge of early music.””

    Advanced training is important for this particular performance because the ensemble members do more than just exercise their vocal chords.

    ‘The idea of the program is that we are all pretending that we are rural peasants in Western Europe on a pilgrimage,”” Johnson said. “”There is not terribly much acting, but we do walk around the stage a bit but in the service of singing.””

    For direction, those onstage can look to Johnson and the two other conductors, Collegium musical director Sherril Blodget and Chris Bartley, both music graduate students. This will be the first program where all three conductors will be in front of the ensemble conducting.

    Even with such a complex performance, Johnson’s hopes simply to make this performance real for those watching.

    “”We hope the audience will feel personally involved by being serenaded with music on the topic of love,”” Johnson said. “”We try and bring it to life one way or another.””

    Putting the time and effort into the sort of performance that Collegium is doing calls for a love of the music, and in this performance, the love is really there.

    The ensemble will be receiving some volunteer help from Tucson community members from the Viola de Gamba Society of Southern Arizona, which Johnson calls “”good-caliber accompaniment.””

    Singers, instrumentalists, students and nonstudents will all open the program in the setting of a monastery singing 12th-century composer Guiraut de Borneill’s “”Reis Glorioso,”” a sacred song that gives praise to the creator of the sun and a loved one. As the show goes on, the music will move away from sacred songs into a variety of genres.

    “”It’s not all sacred and it’s not all secular, but they all deal with the broad topic of love,”” Johnson said.

    The Collegium Music Ensemble will perform Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in Holsclaw Hall in the Music building and Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Academy Village Center, 13701 E. Old Spanish Trail. Admittance is free.

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