Combined Choirs and Orchestra present A Child of Our Time April 18

April 16th, 2009 by Adam
PSU Chorale conducted by Professor Dan Perkins rehearses for spring concerts.

Plymouth.N.H.The Plymouth State University Choirs will collaborate with the Manchester Choral Society and the Hanover Chamber Orchestra to present A Child of Our Time at 8 p.m. Sat., April 18 in the Hanaway Theatre at the Silver Center for the Arts.

PSU’s Daniel Perkins, Stevens-Bristow distinguished professor of music and director of choral activities, directs the choirs and orchestra that together include nearly 200 people.

A pre-concert talk is scheduled at 2 p.m. in the Smith Recital Hall.

The program features Michael Tippett’s monumental Holocaust oratorio, A Child of Our Time, which was written at the beginning of World War II after the Nazis Central European pogram known as Kristallnacht, or the “night of broken glass.”

Tippett wrote his own libretto for the oratorio at the suggestion of his friend, poet T. S. Eliot. It has become one of Tippett’s most widely known works and one of the most significant compositions of the World War II era.

A Child of Our Time has universal significance according to Perkins. “The work examines the existence of evil and good within each of us. It is a strong social statement, especially relevant in this post-9/11 age, about the redemptive power of light,” he said.

One of several stylistic innovations in A Child of Our Time was Tippett’s decision to intersperse American spirituals in the music, much as Bach punctuated his great Passions with chorales, Perkins said. “Tippett had a profound interest in American music, especially jazz and blues, and in this work he endeavors to express a powerful duality of meaning, the spiritual as a balm for healing the embattled human spirit and also as the language of mediation for connecting individuals of opposing societies,” said Perkins.

Soloists for the performance will be Tami Petty, soprano; Janice Edwards, mezzo-soprano; Billy Petty, tenor and Steven Small, baritone.

The program will also commemorate the 200th anniversary of Franz Joseph Haydn’s death with performances of Haydn’s compositions Te Deum and Symphony No. 96 (Miracle).

Tickets for the Plymouth State University performance are $15-11 for adults, $12-9 for seniors, $10-6 for youth and $5 for PSU students with I.D. at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS or (800) 779-3869.

The concert will also be presented at St. Joseph Cathedral at 145 Lowell Street in Manchester at 8 p.m. Friday, April 17 and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 19. A pre-concert talk will be presented at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets for the Manchester performances are available at, (603) 472-6627 or at the door.
Contact Professor Perkins for concert information via e-mail to
General information about events at PSU is available at ThisWeek@PSU,

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