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New Mexico State University

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University Singers going 'Medieval' Oct. 29-30

New Mexico State University's premiere concert and touring choir, University Singers, will perform "Medieval Bestiary" by R. Murray Schaffer as part of its annual fall "Untamed Harmonies" concert at 8 p.m. Oct. 29 and 30 at the Music Center Recital Hall.


Jerry Ann Alt, University Singers director, heard "Medieval Bestiary" performed at this year's National Choral Conference in Chicago. The work is based on the medieval practice of monks keeping zoos to analyze human behavior through animals.

"Each of the songs make theological and psychological analogies between humans and the animal characterized," Alt said.

Because it is a contemporary piece, some of the sounds the choir make are unusual, such as Tibetan chanting, Alt said.

"It is a very interesting piece of music with childlike tunes set to medieval poetry," she said.

The choir will open the program with sensuous poetry set to music in the madrigals, written by Claude Monteverdi in 1602. Madrigals are popular songs which flourished in the 17th century.

The choir also will perform "The Reincarnations" by Samuel Barber, an arrangement of "Ave Maria" by Javier Busto and "Joshua at the Battle of Jericho" by Norman Luboff. In addition, the University Singers will perform "The Last Words of David" by Randall Thompson.

"In essence, we will be singing some of the most well-known choral music and some brand new music with the potential to become some of the most well-known choral music," Alt said.

Tickets are $8, $10 and $12. Students with an ID can purchase tickets for $2. To reserve tickets, call (505) 646-1895. For more information, call (505) 646-1306.