Western Maryland choir to perform Bach cantata

April 23, 1993

The culminating concert of Western Maryland college's 125th anniversary celebration will be presented by the college choir at 3 p.m. Sunday in Baker Memorial Chapel.

The choir, consisting of 53 students, faculty, administrators and alumni, will perform Johann Sebastian Bach's Cantata No. 80, which includes the hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God."

The first part of the concert will be a potpourri of American an European works with a composition by a Western Maryland senior as the finale.

The two-hour concert is free.

Dr. Margaret Boudreaux, director of the choir and assistant professor of music, said she chose Bach's Cantata No. 80 because of its power and because of the college's long association with the hymn.

"I've performed many of Bach's cantatas, and this one is clearly the most powerful, probably because of its hymn," Dr. Boudreaux said. "It's very familiar to most people."

Dr. James Lightner, professor of mathematics, said "A Mighty Fortress" was a staple of college events for decades.

"It dates back many, many years to Western Maryland's early history, when 'Mighty Fortress' was played for all academic occasions, such as baccalaureate, the honors convocation -- any time there was a procession," he said. "It's been a long-standing tradition here. . . . It's just a great old hymn."

Before the cantata, the choir will perform American and European works that will include an offering of early American folk tunes and lyrical pieces.

The finale of this first part of the concert will be "Good Morning," an upbeat work for voice and instruments composed by senior Eric Byrd, who will be at the piano.

Information: 857-2599.

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