Elizabeth Forward, Cal U to collaborate for holiday concerts
A collaboration of high school, college and professional musicians will fill concert halls this week at Elizabeth Forward High School and California University of Pennsylvania.
They will perform Handel's Messiah on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the high school and on Friday at 8 p.m. at Morgan Hall on the California campus.
“The collaboration has been a very positive one,” Elizabeth Forward choir director Angie Berna Milliren said of the arrangement, which came together at a Pennsylvania Music Educators Association gathering at EF last spring.
“We are doing the Christmas portion from Messiah and adding the holiday chorus, so we have about one hour of music,” said Yugo Sava Ikach, a McKeesport native and former assistant conductor of the city's symphony orchestra.
He directs the California University's choirs and chairs the music department.
“It's such a wonderful, real staple of the choral repertoire,” Ikach said. “I would be remiss if I left this place someday having never done it.”
A small select choir of 25 EF's “Bellator Voces” — Latin for Warrior Singers — will join with 115 California University singers and 28 professional musicians.
Many of the professionals are from the Washington Symphony, where Ikach is music director, though some play with the Pittsburgh Opera and other orchestras.
“It will be pretty high quality,” said Ikach, who directed the junior chorus at the PMEA event.
“She really does fantastic work,” Ikach said of Milliren. “I thought the world of her and the students' preparation. I have a few of her students who have come here through her program and been matriculated here at Cal U and they have all been great students.”
“Promoting future choral possibilities for my students will provide them with a group to which to belong, or an instant family, when they move into their collegiate endeavors,” Milliren said.
“My students have seen the next step in the sequence of choral performance. It is my hope that they continue to sing after they leave my program and to simply be better people because they have been touched by music.”
This week's concerts are part of a busy fall for the high school music department in particular and Elizabeth Forward School District in general.
The high school is getting ready for a holiday concert on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m., featuring all of its performance groups.
“Listen as we delight with holiday selections and conclude with our holiday sing-along,” Milliren said.
The district's complimentary holiday breakfast for senior citizens will be on Dec. 12 at 8 a.m. at the high school.
“It features our high school National Honors Society, members of our foreign language classes, our art department, and our music department,” Milliren said. “The eighth-grade choir and students from our elementary also will perform during the concert. It is free to senior citizens.”
Ikach said this week's concert series probably won't become an annual tradition, but he would like to do something “every couple years, maybe with Elizabeth Forward, maybe with another high school.”
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.