Concert choir, orchestra host performance highlighting Anne Frank

choirStory by Madeline Bombardi

CSU’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance is hosting a night of remembrance, highlighting the concert choir and concert orchestra’s performance of Anne Frank: A Living Voice by Linda Tutas Haugen, and Paul Hindemith’s Trauermusik. The free concert takes place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 5. 

The Concert Choir and Concert Orchestra come together to tell the heart-rending story of Anne Frank’s life as a child during the Holocaust. This choral song cycle takes the audience on the emotional path that Anne Frank underwent as she reflected on the events during World War II. The choir sings lyrics that are published in A Diary of Anne Frank, and emits a range of emotions including fear, confusion, heartbreak, hope and even the optimism and joy of a young adolescent.

Ryan Olsen is a CSU professor of choral music education and director of the concert choir.

“I learned about Anne Frank: A Living Voice by Linda Tutas Haugen a few years ago when CSU hosted the conference for the National Collegiate Choral Organization,” he said. “I knew immediately that I wanted to program it whenever I had a women’s chorus to work with, and this year, the concert choir was a choir of all women, so the timing was perfect.”

Often performed with string quartet accompaniment, the piece will be performed for the first time with a full chamber orchestra. The original composer, Linda Tutas Haugen, will be attending the performance.

“We will be performing all seven movements for the first time with [the] choir and small orchestra. So this will actually be a world premiere in this version,” Olsen said.

In preparation for the concert, Tutas Haugen will be working with the musicians.

“I’m most excited to share these pieces with our students, the audience, and with the composer herself,” Olsen added. ”It has been very enlightening … to experience these pieces through her perspective.”

Other featured pieces

Also on the program is Hindemith’s Trauermusik (Music of Mourning), in which CSU faculty member Margaret Miller will be the featured viola soloist. Miller is assistant professor of viola and coordinator of the Graduate Quartet Program at CSU. The orchestra is conducted by Leslie Stewart, special assistant professor of violin and director of the summer Master’s Conducting Seminar at CSU.

Trauermusik is a German suite created in honor of the passing of King George V in 1936. Hindemith begins the piece with a unified violin section, invoking a celebratory and triumphant sound which quickly transitions to a moment of great sadness, tragedy and loss fostered by the cello and bass sections. The soloist performs it in a way that resembles a eulogy, marking the importance and success of the British King.

The music of the evening has been constructed with a lasting theme; though there is great sadness and sorrow in our world, we share moments of beauty and joy together. Each of these pieces conveys heavy-hearted emotion with the intention of allowing the listener to remember and honor the loss of historical figures.

The performance will take place in the University Center of the Arts at 1400 Remington St. in Fort Collins.