McDaniel College hosting a weekend of performances

The weekend is booked full at McDaniel College with performances of the musical “Spring Awakening” and the Masterworks Chorale presentation of “Te Deum."

Spring Awakening

Elizabeth van den Berg, Theatre Arts department chair and director, said auditions were popular for McDaniel’s production of the popular rock ‘n’ roll musical “Spring Awakening.”


Though it is set in 1892 Germany, the production contains friction between elements of the modern and the past. For example, period costumes contrast a spare and almost industrial set. For van den Berg, the music is the standout and the energy of the show. Modern rock ‘n’ roll numbers are charged with modern langauge and express characters’ innermost feelings.

The story touches on themes of youth, coming-of-age, love and difficult choices that resonate across all eras.

“It’s a very young cast,” she added. “I only have one senior in the cast … most of them are freshmen, sophomores and transfers.”

When approaching the script, van den Berg said she was struck by how difficult it is for the youth and adults in the play to communicate.

She wrote in her directors’ notes for the production, “Whether it be Marjory Stoneman Douglas kids pleading with adults to hear them about ways to stop gun violence, or teen victims of sexual violence being unable to communicate their fear, hurt and terror until 20 years after the event, young people feel that their voices are not being heard. ‘Spring Awakening’ asks us to listen.”

There will be four evening shows, Nov. 14 through Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m., in WMC Alumni Hall. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors, students, military, and the McDaniel College community.

This show contains adult language, sexual situations and mention of suicide that make it more appropriate for mature audiences.

For more information, call the box office at 410-857-2448.

Masterworks Chorale of Carroll County Fall Concert

The concert Sunday afternoon Nov. 18 features the world premiere of “Te Deum” composed by McDaniel and Masterworks alum Justine Koontz.

“Te Deum,” a centuries-old hymn, has been the basis for multiple compositions to acknowledge or to celebrate the end of a war or the end of a battle, said Margaret Boudreaux, director of choral activities at McDaniel.

The Chorale will present Koontz’s piece alongside three other interpretations of “Te Deum” by Holst, Britten and Handel.

The concert is a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice ending the First World War.

Each composition is a window into the time it was composed, across different times, different centuries, different generations Boudreaux said. Koontz composed the piece in 2016.

The concert commemorates the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I with the world premiere of “Te Deum,” composed by 2009 McDaniel alumna Justine Koontz.
The concert commemorates the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I with the world premiere of “Te Deum,” composed by 2009 McDaniel alumna Justine Koontz. (Courtesy Photo)

Boudreaux said it “takes a very diverse way of treating the text throughout the piece that really reflects not just the confusion and consternation of our current time … but the head-scratchiness of our time. … How we’re all trying to find ways that we can come together and work together and we’re finding it very challenging.”


Holt composed his piece the year following the Armistice, Britten composed his during the second World War and Handel composed his in the 1800s to celebrate a battle won.

Each treats the final lines of the text — “O Lord, in Thee have I trusted: let me never be confounded”— differently.

Boudreaux hopes the concert will take audiences on a journey and make them thoughtful.

“We feel that the audience is a very important connection with everything we do and it makes a big difference in how the performance is remembered,” she said.

The concert will be held at (Big) Baker Memorial Chapel on the McDaniel campus at 3 p.m. on Nov. 18. Admission is $12, or $10 if purchased in advance. Students with ID and children are admitted free at the door.

For information about tickets, visit or call 410-871-3371.