Mercyhurst choir to perform in Poland


Summer’s here, and it’s time for Mercyhurst students to close their textbooks and open their passports.

Rebecca Ryan, director of choirs and the Sullivan Conservatory, will lead a team of students, alumni and friends of the university to Poland for the Lublin Partner Cities Choirs Festival May 23-25.

The inaugural festival brings choirs from all of Lublin’s sister cities to perform, including the Mercyhurst University Concert Choir from Erie; The Mixed Choir of  “Jovan Jovanović Zmaj” Gymnasium from Nowy Sad, Serbia; Omsk State Pedagogical University Chamber Choir “Lik” from Omsk, Russia; “Cantemus” Chamber Choir from Timişoara, Romania; and the Jadwiga Czerwińska Maria Curie-Skłodowska University choir of Lublin.

Lublin was designated as one of Erie’s sister cities by Sister Cities International in 1998.

The Mercyhurst choir will perform a mix of traditional African-American spirituals; selections from American composers including George Gershwin’s “Our Love is Here to Stay”; and sacred works including Ola Gjeilo’s “Ubi Caritas” and Thomas Morley’s “Agnus Dei.”

In addition to directing the choir’s performance, Ryan will be offering a seminar on Erie-born composer and arranger Harry Burleigh. Burleigh is famed for arranging black spirituals in classical form and helping to bridge the racial gap between musicians in the early 1900s.

The group includes incoming sophomores Sara Creighton, Sarah Gravante, Kayleigh Ferguson and Jared Hancock; incoming juniors Alexa Zeremenko and Alexander McLaughlin; incoming seniors Kathleen Reveille, Marisa Jacobson and Marika Koch; and graduating seniors Adam Ferrari, Eric Delagrange and Kristan Orgel. Alumni Gabe Borrero, Bryan Timm and Brianna Steves will join the group as will friends of the university, including Dr. and Mrs. Richard Steves, Scott Harvey, Margaret Jacobson, Amy Daugherty, Jeremy Cool and Karen Gregory.

For more information about the Mercyhurst Choir, contact Ryan at 814-824-2061.

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