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WNCC Music Programs to Premiere New Arrangement of Fauré Requiem

April 15, 2016

The instrumental and vocal music programs at Western Nebraska Community College present a spring concert on Apr. 18. This year's collaborative effort is led by Instrumental Music Director Dr. Nathaniel Johnson and Vocal Music Director Dr. Imgyu Kang.

The performance begins at 7 p.m. in WNCC's Little Theatre. Admission is free.
 
The largest portion of the performance is a new arrangement of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem Mass. The original version of Fauré's work, a staple in the vocal repertoire, was written for boys' chorus, men's chorus, and chamber string orchestra in 1888. This new version is a transcription for mixed chorus and chamber wind orchestra. It was created in 2005 by Dr. Johnson as part of his doctoral dissertation.
"Virtually every choral piece in the common repertoire that is accompanied by an instrumental ensemble is written for a symphony orchestra," said Johnson. "There are some for winds, but they are essentially unknown by vocal and wind conductors alike. WNCC is like many colleges and high schools in America in that it has viable band and choir programs, but no string program. If a choral director wants to combine his choir with an instrumental group, and they don't have an orchestra, they either have to hire one in or they're out of luck."
 
Johnson's dissertation included transcribing two well-known works for chorus and orchestra into versions for chorus and winds, so that choral directors would have more options in programming. The two works are the Fauré Requiem and Franz Schubert's Mass No. 2 in G Major, written in 1815. Scottsbluff's Valley Voices premiered Johnson's transcription of the Schubert Mass in December of 2004.
 
Appropriately, the evening's program also features an instrumental piece transcribed for choir, Gioacchino Rossini's "William Tell" Overture, as well as a choral piece transcribed for instruments, John Rutter's "A Choral Fanfare." Also included will be Dana Wilson's "Sang!," performed by the Western Nebraska Winds, and Richard Smallwood's "Total Praise" (edited by Dr. Kang), performed by the Collegiate Chorale.
 
"We are thrilled to be collaborating with Dr. Johnson and his students for this concert, and look forward to performing it to the public," said Dr. Kang.  
 
For more information or questions about the spring concert, contact Dr. Johnson by email at johnsonn@wncc.edu, or phone at 308-635-6046, or Dr. Kang by email at kangi0@wncc.edu, or phone at 308-635-6045.