Under the direction of Greg Ramsdell, director of choral activities and associate professor of choral music education, and accompanied by Cynthia Ramsdell, the 51-member vocal choir will present a concert with the theme “Oh! The Places You’ll Go” in anticipation of its international tour to Europe in May. The tour will be the first time in more than a decade that the choir has performed internationally.
The concert is free and open to the public. A free-will offering will be collected.
“Despite being drawn from distinctive and disparate cultures, the texts of the selections speak of universal ideas — faith and fellowship, love and loss,” Greg Ramsdell said. “Over the course of our program, we sincerely hope that our audience will be oved by the symbiotic relationship between poetry and music and that the cumulative associations of each piece will evoke ever-developing images regarding the essence of life itself.”
The concert choir is the premiere choral ensemble of the Heidelberg University school of music and theater.
Through its repertoire, the choir hopes to recognize and honor the musical heritage of the countries on its travel itinerary – Hungary and the Czech Republic – while sharing America’s distinctive musical culture. The choir will perform a selection in the Czech language by renowned Romantic-era composer Antonin Dvořák and a composition by Hungarian composer Lajos Bárdos. Scattered among these pieces, the choir will share choral repertoire from the America’s native treasury of song, including music by William Billings, a prolific composer from the colonial era. Additional music will include traditional folk songs, African-American spirituals and repertoire drawn from the popular music tradition.
Since its inception in 1938, the choir has earned the distinction of being one of the premier collegiate choral ensembles in the Midwest. Open to all Heidelberg students, regardless of major, the choir rehearses three times each week and performs more than 15 concerts each year, including a domestic tour and a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” as part of Heidelberg’s Christmas concert at Tiffin’s Ritz Theatre for the Performing Arts.
In his eighth year as the director, Ramsdell teaches undergraduate courses in conducting and secondary choral methods. He also teaches graduate courses in curriculum development, research in music education, music theory and choral arranging.
Ramsdell received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in music education from Bowling Green State University. In 2006, he earned his doctorate in choral conducting performance from the University of Kansas. Prior to joining the Heidelberg faculty, Ramsdell taught junior high general music and oversaw a large junior high and high school choral music program in Greenville, Pa. He also taught at Westminster College in Pennsylvania and the University of Central Arkansas.