A series of choral music concerts are scheduled at Notre Dame and Loyola


Baltimore choral music fans looking for foreign flavors or all-American airs can find both in the next week on North Charles Street at the College of Notre Dame and Loyola College.

Starting at 8 p.m. tomorrow, the College of Nore Dame music department, directed by Ernest Ragonini, offers three free concerts in just over a week. Three college groups sing tomorrow at LeClerc Auditorium, 4701 N. Charles St., site of all three concerts.

The three choruses are the Concert Choir of Notre Dame, directed by Sr. Joseph Mary Zimmer; the University of Virginia Glee Club, led by Michael Butterman; and the Goucher College Chorus, directed by Tom Hall. The ensembles will sing works by Randall Thompson, Benjamin Britten and Johannes Brahms.

Other Notre Dame recitals are at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, the fall recital by Notre Dame students in solo and ensemble performances, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, the Chamber Ensemble of Notre Dame performing with Ruth Drucker, soprano, as guest artist. She will sing in a new work by Braxton Peters, faculty member, for soprano, string quartet, flute, oboe, piano and percussion on texts by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Then, the Concert Choir presents music of Christmas and other selections at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9.

Next door, at Loyola, an unusual program of American music is sung at 8 p.m. next Thursday, Nov. 15, when 20 vocalists of the DaCamera Singers, under director Ernest Liotti, perform music from three centuries in McManus Theater on the campus, 4501 N. Charles St.

The DaCamera Singers start their second season as a small chamber chorus (hence the name "of the room"). They will perform what Liotti calls "a very accessible program . . . nothing to be afraid of -- all tonal music -- ranging from 1770 anthems by William Billings to 1989 songs by Scott Pender, a Maryland composer.

"The music is only about an hour," said Liotti, who eschews long programs. "I like what Puccini said about that -- it's always better if the audience leaves wanting more."

The program is not, however, without variety or depth. Liotti, choral director at Loyola and choir master at Silver Spring's Northwood Presbyterian Church, built a choral concert in which his trained musicians can show off some of the country's appealing musical heritage. At the same time, Liotti feels the singers fill a need in town for chamber singing more intimate than groups like Choral Arts or even Concert Artists.

First off in "From Billings to Barber and Beyond" are the anthems by Billings (1746-1800). Then, soprano Susan Pelter, of Silver Spring, sings nine songs from Anne Sexton's "Bestiary" composed by Pender, with John Schillingberg, of Baltimore, on piano. Local composer Thomas Benjamin contributes two miniatures, "Beautiful Soup," based on Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland," and "Chanty" with text by William Shakespeare.

The second half begins with three choral pieces written in the 1940s by Samuel Barber. Based on the settings of three Irish poems by James Stephens, they are "Mary Hynes," "Anthony O Daly" and "The Coolin." Hymn tunes follow, by Virgil Thomson, "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need," Aaron Copland, "At the River" and "I will Arise." Norman Dello Joio's "Song of the Open Road" with trumpeter Lorne Graham, of Baltimore, ends the evening. Tickets are $6 and $3 for seniors and students with ID. Call 323-1010, Ext. 2817.

Three other Loyola concerts at the 300-seat McManus Theater are as follows: The Sinfonia Concertante, Karen L. Deal, conductor, and Chris Inquante, soloist, in Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A major, at 3 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18, tickets $5 and $3; Classical Interlude, students performing at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, free; and the Loyola College Jazz Ensemble, Anthony Villa, director, at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, tickets $3. The Loyola Concert Choir performs at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, in the Alumni Chapel. The concert is free.

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