The UTC Music Department will present the UTC Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorale in concert, directed by Lee Harris and Roland Carter, at the Roland Hayes Concert Hall, 752 Vine St., on Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. It is presented free of charge and is open to the general public. Included in the highlights of the evening is select music by Noah Ryder, as well as compositions by Agneta Sköld, Bob Chilcott, Claude Debussy and, arrangements by John Rutter and Bruce Saylor.
The Women’s Chorale recital, directed by Lee Harris, will include “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” as arranged by John Rutter, and “A Christmas Garland” as arranged by Bruce Saylor, which is a medley of three well-known Christmas carols: “Ding, Dong Merrily on High,” “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” and “Deck the Halls.” The recital will also feature “Noël des Enfants Qui N’ont Plus de Maisons,” or “Christmas Carol for Homeless Children,” which was one of Claude Debussy´s last compositions. It was written in December of 1915, as Debussy witnessed firsthand the devastation World War I wrought across Europe. He was particularly saddened by the plight of children who were homeless, in many cases orphaned, during the Christmas season. The piece was originally a solo art song, but was later reset for two-part treble choir.
The Men’s Chorus will sing select music by Noah Ryder, including; “Gwine Up,” “Run to Jesus,” “Stand by Me” and “What You Gonna Call That Pretty Little Baby?” Born on April 10, 1914, Noah Frances Ryder was an African-American conductor and educator from Nashville. He soon moved to Ohio, where his stepmother and father raised him, during which time he learned piano, as well as other instruments, and African-American spirituals. Ryder played in his high school orchestra, formed a jazz ensemble and, in 1931, entered Hampton Institute, where he studied performance, composition, and conducting. Following graduation, he held three teaching positions throughout North Carolina and Handy Brothers Publishing began to issue his arrangements while he was choir director at this alma mater. In 1944, he began a two-year service with the Navy, during which time he wrote most of his arrangements for Male Chorus. From 1947 until 1962, Ryder conducted college and church choirs and community glee club.
Distinguished composer-arranger and conductor, Roland Carter, is the Ruth S. Holmberg UC Foundation professor of Music at UTC. He served as head of the Cadek Department of Music and Conservatory for six years (1989-1995) and, has produced and appeared on programs for national and international radio and television. In constant demand as guest conductor and lecturer, he maintains an active schedule of workshops and performances. Additionally, he has received numerous awards and honors for his outstanding achievements in choral music; most notably his contributions to the performance and preservation of African American music.
Lee Harris has served as head of the UTC Music Department since 2003. He is an associate professor of Music, teaching Ear Training, Elementary Music Methods, Women's Chorale and graduate music education courses. Prior to arriving at UTC, he served as the Music Institute director at the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts. He is certified in the Orff-Schulwerk and Kodály approaches to music education and directs the Kodály Institute at UTC, which he established in 2000.
For additional information regarding this or any other UTC Music Department performance, call the Music office at 425-4601 or visit http://utc.edu/music.