Natchitoches-NSU Orchestra, Choirs to perform “Carmina Burana” April 24

Northwestern_State_University_of_LouisianaNATCHITOCHES – The Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra and NSU Choirs will present “Carmina Burana” Thursday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Tickets are $10. Northwestern State University, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current student I.D. Douglas Bakenhus will conduct the combined choirs and orchestra.

“Carmina Burana” is a collection of more than 250 poems and dramatic texts written by students and clergy mostly in the 11th and 12th century. The works are often bawdy and irreverent. Composer Carl Orff set 24 of the poems to music in 1936.

“The work is one of the most appealing of the orchestral/choral repertoire,” said Director of Choral Activities Dr. Burt Allen. “The work is straightforward. You don’t have to think a lot. It’s kind of in your face from the first sound you hear.”

Northwestern State faculty Michael Rorex and Terrie Sanders will be featured along with baritone Brandon Gibson.

“People think of works of Latin as being quite somber, but this work is far from it,” said Bakenhus. “Some of the poems are about taverns, drinking and gambling. They talk about Fortuna, the empress of the world and the fickleness of fortune.”

An experienced performer on the opera stage, Gibson is a relative newcomer to the concert hall. He recently sang Handel’s “Messiah” for the first time with First Christian Church of McKinney. Gibson performed “Carmina Burana” with The Irving Symphony Orchestra and Haydn’s “Harmoniemesse” with Plano Symphony Orchestra in Dallas’ new City Performance Hall. Previous concerts have included Mussorgky’s “Songs and Dances of Death” with Voces Intimae (Dallas), as well as recitals at Southern Methodist University, Rice University and for The Tuesday Music Club in Lubbock, Texas. This summer. Gibson will make first commercial recording for the Beaufort Classical label. He will record the world premiere of Robert Gross’ new mono-opera, “A Proof of Beal’s Conjecture,” for baritone and percussion ensemble.

Rorex, an associate professor of voice, has been a member of Northwestern State’s faculty since 1995. Rorex teaches studio voice, directs the Opera Theater and the Northwestern State Men’s Chorus.

Rorex is a graduate of University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, and Indiana University, where he completed a master’s degree in vocal performance. Rorex has sung roles with St. Louis Opera Theater, Indianapolis Opera, Corpus Christi Opera,

Chattanooga Opera and Pensacola Opera. He has served as a pianist and musical director for the McCleod Summer Theater in Carbondale, Ill., Granbury Opera House, Granbury, Texas, Cortland Repertory Theater, Cortland, N. Y. and Lagniappe Theater in Alexandria. He is a member of National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and American Guild of Musical Artists.

Sanders has been a full time member of the voice faculty at Northwestern State since 1996.  She teaches private voice, German, Italian and French diction for singers, and vocal pedagogy. Sanders is also academic advisor for the bachelor of music degrees in performance and sacred music.

She is an active lecturer for the McClosky Institute of Voice and a certified McClosky voice technician.  In 2011, she earned the designation of master teacher for the McClosky Institute. Sanders is an active performer and most recently appeared on the NATS Southern Region Member Artist Recital in Baton Rouge. Sanders holds the Donald F. Derby Endowed Professorship at NSU. She recently presented three papers on vocal health at the Eighth International Congress of Voice Teachers in Brisbane, Australia.

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