Women’s Chorales from the University of Chicago and North Park University Perform Joint Spring Concert

Program features Poulenc’s Litanies and Britten's Missa Brevis performed by University of Chicago Organist Thomas Weisflog.

Chicago, IL, April 30, 2010 --(PR.com)-- The University of Chicago Women’s Chorale will be joined by North Park University’s Women’s Chorale on Sunday, May 2nd at 4:00 p.m. in Rockefeller Chapel, located at 5850 S. Woodlawn Avenue on the University campus. Thomas Weisflog, University of Chicago Organist, will join the combined chorales for Poulenc’s "Litanies á la Vierge Noire," Pablo Casals’ "Nigra Sum," and Britten's "Missa Brevis."

French composer Francis Poulenc (1899 –1963) began a pilgrimage to Notre Dame de Rocamadour, known for its black marble statue of Virgin Mary, following the death of his friend in a motorcycle accident in 1936. Upon his arrival, he experienced a spiritual reawakening, a reconversion to Catholicism that inspired him to compose Litanies. The piece for three-part female chorus and organ consists of a series of prayers to Mary and established a change in Poulenc’s compositions moving his focus towards religious choral works and away from his prior compositions known for their wit and lightheartedness.

English composer, conductor, violist, and pianist Benjamin Britten (1913 – 1976) was commissioned to compose Missa Brevis (“short mass”) in D, Op. 63 for the Westminster Boys Choir on Trinity Sunday in 1959. George Malcolm, harpsichordist and conductor, performed the mass in honor of his retirement from twelve years as Westminster’s organist and choirmaster.

Thomas Weisflog
University organist at Rockefeller Chapel since October 2000, Thomas Weisflog also serves as organist/director of music at Hyde Park’s Church of St. Thomas the Apostle and organist at Temple KAM-Isaiah-Israel. Having accompanied the William Ferris Chorale for over twenty-five years, he now serves as their artist-in-residence.

Weisflog studied with Gavin Williamson and Edward Mondello in Chicago and with Norman Peterson at the Eastman School of Music. He has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Symphony and Chorus, and Italy’s Orchestra Sinfonica di Bolzano e Trento. In the European arena, Weisflog made his debut at the 1986 Aldeburgh Festival and concretized in Berlin at the Evangelische Kirchengemeinde (1992). This past June, he appeared along with organist Walter Whitehouse and James Kallembach, conducting the Rockefeller Chapel Choir, Motet Choir, University Singers, and University Chorus, in the gala unveiling of the chapel’s newly-rebuilt E.M. Skinner organ. Weisflog’s recordings appear on the Meridian, New World, and Vox labels.

Admission to the University of Chicago and North Park University Women’s Chorale concert is free with a suggested donation at the door of $10 Adults/$5 Children. For more information visit music.uchicago.edu or call the event hotline at 773.702.8069.

Quick Facts

What: University of Chicago Women’s Chorale
Joint Concert with North Park University Women’s Chorale featuring University of Chicago Organist Thomas Weisflog
Elizabeth Swanson, director

When: Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Where: Fulton Recital Hall
1010 E. 59th St., on the University of Chicago campus

Admission: Free with suggested donation of $10 / $5 students & children.

Event Hotline: 773.702.8069 • music.uchicago.edu

Persons who require assistance should call in advance: 773.702.8484.

University of Chicago Department of Music
Rashida N. Black