NIC choral groups to present concert March 8

North Idaho College will present its “Peace and Hopefulness” concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8 at the Boswell Hall Schuler Performing Arts Center.

The concert will be presented by the NIC Chamber Singers and the Cardinal Chorale with special guests Canto de Sorensen from Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities and members of the NIC Wind Symphony.

The themes of peace and hope will be reflected in the tone of the choral pieces, which begin with the NIC Chamber Singers’ performances of somber pieces like “Timor et Tremor,” a Renaissance piece by Orlando di Lasso featuring different passages from the Book of Psalms, which is tied closely to the season of Lent prior to Easter. The Chamber Singers will also perform “Drop, Drop, Slow Tears,” which uses the lowest voice of the piano in a repeated series of pitches coupled with vocal sections in a slow rhythmic descending melody, overlapping to represent tears.

The NIC Chorale Union (the combination of both choral groups) will present the featured piece of the concert called “Tsunami Requiem” by Chris Williams, composed in 2005 to memorialize those who perished in the December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

The first movement “Fishing Carol,” tells the story of a typical day in a fishing village with the sun rising over the boats on the shoreline. The second movement “Pie Jesu” is a lullaby sung to calm the children who have a premonition of the tsunami coming followed by a musical interlude, the calm before the storm, which explodes into the third movement “Dies Irae (Day of Wrath),” depicting the tsunami itself. The final movement “Agnus Dei (O Lamb of God)” builds in intensity as the brass enter, answering the choir’s words, almost in sympathy.

The Fine Art Department from Sorensen Magnet School of the Arts and Humanities will present artwork the students created about the tsunami before and after the concert.

The North Idaho College Choral Union consists of the Cardinal Chorale and Chamber Singers. The Choral Union has a long tradition of performing moving performances for audiences in the Inland Northwest and beyond. Both choirs have traveled throughout the United States and North America. Recently members of both ensembles performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Choirs have also performed in Seattle, San Francisco and Mexico. Members of the both choirs consist of NIC students, alumni, faculty and staff, as well as area community members.

North Idaho College’s Director of Choirs, Max Mendez brings 35 years of experience to the Choral Union. Celebrating more than 10 years at the college, he said he strives to instill a sense of artistry, quality, beauty and community service in each performance. Mendez is active in the area choral music and also serves as a clinician, performer and guest conductor throughout the Northwest.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Information: (208) 769-3275 or

Cardinal Chorale Singers 

NIC Cardinal Choral and NIC Chamber Singers. Photo credit: Katie Eppenstein.

Chamber Singers 

Posted: Thursday, March 3, 2016

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