The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Isthmus Vocal Ensemble celebrates its 10th anniversary with performances tonight and Sunday afternoon

August 5, 2011
4 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

Tonight and Sunday afternoon will see the annual summer concert by the Isthmus Vocal Ensemble (below, in a photo by Jim Pippitt). But this summer the group will be marking its 10th anniversary by offering two performances instead of the usual single performance.

Tonight’s concert is at 7:30 p.m. takes place in a grander, more cathedral-like setting at the Lutheran Memorial Church (below), 1021 University Ave., in Madison.

On Sunday, the concert will be at 3 p.m. in the smaller and more intimate venue at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church at 5700 Pheasant Hill Road in Monona.  (Bring a non-perishable food item for the church’s food pantry and get $2 off the ticket price.) Here is a link to the church’s website with directions how to get there:

http://www.ststephensmonona.com/Default.aspx

Tickets for both concerts are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. They can be purchased at the door or in advance by visiting the group’s website (see at bottom).

The group will perform under director Scott MacPherson (below right, in a photo by Jim Pippitt). MacPherson, a Wisconsin native, is the director of choral activities at Kent State University in Ohio and before that was the choral director at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. MacPherson is an alumnus of the UW-Madison School of Music where he received his Masters of Music degree in choral and orchestral conducting under Catherine Comet.

I can find no information about the programs except a general statement: “Both (concerts will be) featuring choral masterworks spanning five centuries, from Gibbons to Bach to Lotti to Lauridsen to Mendelssohn to Rindfleisch.” But the critically acclaimed group is known for doing a wide range of both well-known and obscure works from the standard repertoire as well as premiering contemporary works by, for example, Andrew Rindfleisch.

(PS ADDENDUM: IF YOU LOOK UNDER COMMENTS, YOU CAN SEE THE COMPLETE PROGRAM THAT A MEMBER OF THE CHORAL GROUP SENT IN AFTER THIS WAS POSTED.)

Here is a link to the group’s home website with information about tickets; a history with positive reviews; news about recordings; a biography of the conductor; audio downloads; a list of singers; but, unfortunately, no listing of specific works to be performed this weekend:

http://www.isthmusvocalensemble.org/

But The Ear is betting you won’t go wrong taking a chance on the Isthmus Vocal Ensemble.

Still, it would be great if someone would record the ensemble in a piece or two — or use something from their two CDs — and put them up on YouTube to help get the word out. Not for nothing is it called “social media.”

But if you go, tell us what  you think?

The Ear wants to hear.


Posted in Classical music

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