Posted on 14 April 2016.
WHAT: “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff, performed by MCC’s Alumni & Friends Choir, MCC’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Greenville High School Orchestra and Flat River Dance Company
WHEN: April 17 at 5 p.m.
WHERE: Greenville High School Performing Arts Center
HOW: Tickets are general admission and are $3 each. Purchase tickets at the UPS Store at 703 S. Greenville West Drive in Greenville or in the Montcalm Community College Donald C. Burns Administration/Library Building at 2800 College Drive in Sidney. Payment must be cash or check made payable to MCC.
By Samantha Mack
Members of Montcalm Community College’s Alumni & Friends Choir and Philharmonic Orchestra, the Greenville High School Orchestra and Flat River Dance Company rehearse for the April 17 performance of “Carmina Burana” at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center.
SIDNEY—Montcalm Community College’s Alumni and Friends Choir and Philharmonic Orchestra, along with members of the Greenville High School Orchestra and Flat River Dance Company, have joined for a production of epic proportions April 17 at 5 p.m. at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center.
Performed by more than 150 area artists, “Carmina Burana” will feature powerful rhythms, unforgettable vocal parts and flowing dancers.
“Carmina Burana” is a scenic cantata composed by Carl Orff in 1935 and 1936, based on 24 poems from the medieval collection “Carmina Burana.” The original manuscripts, written in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, reflect the life and worldviews of poets at that time.
MCC Performing Arts Coordinator Val Vander Mark, who is coordinating the production, said she is excited to bring this cultural opportunity to a local audience, and to pay tribute to Orff, who was an influential music educator.
“Part of Orff’s educational philosophy was that children learn best by encountering rhythm first. That philosophy is evident in this piece,” Vander Mark said. “This work is not very difficult pitch-wise for singers, but it has some passages that are very difficult for the orchestra.
“With its fast tempos and constantly-changing meters, it is quite challenging rhythmically for everyone,” she said. “It is also written in Latin and German. That is difficult enough, but we are using the pronunciations of the languages that would have been used in the time when the poetry was written, so even those singers who are familiar with the languages have a challenge mastering the differences between the modern and ancient versions.
“The Philharmonic Orchestra is tackling the challenge extremely well, and the string section of the Greenville High School orchestra is joining them for extra rehearsals,” she added. “The difficulty will stretch everyone’s abilities in reading and playing music, but beyond that, the rewards of performing and getting to know this great work so intimately cannot be described. We have a huge amount of talent in Montcalm County. I have been just overwhelmed by the quality of musicianship that is represented in this group.”
“A special aspect of the ‘Carmina Burana’ production is our partnership with the community in this endeavor,” said MCC Dean of Instruction & Student Development Gary Hauck. “This is a stellar example of our college and community relationship.”
Vander Mark said this epic composition takes a lot of work from many performers and requires two pianos. In addition to Greenville High School’s grand piano, an 1890 Steinway grand piano will be featured during the performance. The classic instrument is on loan from Alex Kapteyn, owner of Central Michigan Pianos, in Carson City. Kapteyn acquired the piano from the estate of longtime Greenville resident Dorothy Oliver, a musician and founder of the Danish Festival. Kapteyn spent about 10 months restoring it, and it is now in his home.
“I am very pleased to have this piano utilized for the concert, for in a small way it allows me to pay tribute to Dorothy Oliver and her years of service to the Greenville school system,” Kapteyn said.
Vander Mark said the performance will be a rare event.
“We are hoping that the large audience will give many people who knew Dorothy a chance to see and hear this equally-rare instrument,” Vander Mark said. “Having known Dorothy personally, I know what an extraordinary person and musician she was, and how much this will mean to so many people in our community,” she added. “It just makes the whole experience that much more meaningful for both the musicians and the audience. The idea that this is probably a once-in-a-lifetime event that we are privileged to be part of is exciting.”
Tickets for “Carmina Burana” are general admission and cost $3 each. They may be purchased at the UPS Store, located in the parking lot south of Applebee’s at 703 S. Greenville West Drive, Suite 7, Greenville, and at Montcalm Community College’s Donald C. Burns Administration/Library Building at 2800 College Drive, Sidney. Payment must be cash or check made payable to Montcalm Community College.
This activity is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and the Montcalm Community College Foundation Ash Community College Enhancement Fund.