An evening of poetry and classics

Concert Chamber Choir
Concert Chamber Choir

The Colorado State University Concert and Chamber Choirs will offer new takes on classic pieces as well as musical renditions of poetry from around the world this week.

Ryan Olsen will lead the Concert Choir through performances of poems and Gaelic proverbs, followed by James Kim conducting the Chamber Choir through classic pieces by Bach, Schoenberg, and more on Friday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Griffin Concert Hall at the University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St.

The Concert Choir will present new music and distinguished poetry from around the world. The performance includes a brand new setting of Wendell Berry’s The Peace of Wild Things, a Gaelic proverb, and a piece from poet Mirza Ghalib. The chamber choir will performs Josef Rheinberger’s Mass in Eb, Arnold Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden, and Bach’s motet, Jesu, meine Freude, to name a few.

The Peace of Wild Things starts with a simple description of a rural place, and then evolves to call out the readers’ own idea of their place of calm and peace. The piece is representative of Berry’s consistent message: humans must find harmony with the natural world.

Born in Newcastle, Ky., in 1934, Berry grew up working on his father’s farm. He later went on to become a creative writing fellow in the Wallace Stegner writing program at Stanford University. There he found a love of writing poetry, fiction, and essays. Poetry gave Berry literary recognition and his essays gained him a broader audience.

About the conductors

Ryan Olsen is an assistant professor of choral music education and the director of the CSU Concert Choir. Olsen has been active in all levels of music education in Kansas, Missouri, Arizona, Texas, and Colorado. A native of Kansas City, Olsen received his bachelor of music education and master of arts in music with an emphasis in choral music education from the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

James Kim is currently the director of choral activities at CSU. He directs the CSU Chamber Choir and teaches both undergraduate and graduate conducting, choral literature and choral techniques. After earning two degrees from the University of Southern California, he was invited by the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart to study with Helmuth Rilling for three years.


Tickets are:

  • $7 for CSU students
  • $1 for youth (under 18)
  • $12 for the public

Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the lobby Monday through Friday, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 60 minutes prior to performances, by phone at 970-491-ARTS (2787), or online. Youth tickets must be purchased in person at the ticket office. All tickets are subject to a $1 ticket fee for both online and at-the-door purchases. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended to avoid lines and further at-the-door fees.