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Chamber Choir celebrates longtime conductor Paul Althouse

The Connecticut College Chamber Choir will perform a special concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4, in honor of Professor of Music Paul Althouse, who will retire in December after 42 years at the College. The concert will feature musical selections chosen by Althouse to mark the special occasion. "I decided that since this was my last go-round, I would choose pieces and/or composers who were my favorites," Althouse said. "Well, everybody's got favorites, and they can change from day to day, so I chose from among my favorites, trying to pick pieces that included a variety of musical styles and periods." His selections include four movements from Bach's B-minor Mass, described by Althouse as "perhaps his most illustrious composition;" Heinrich Schütz's "German Magnificat," which the professor calls "really quite difficult, but when the two choruses are throwing phrases back and forth, the effect is thrilling;" Brahms' "How Lovely is They Dwelling Place;" and "Sleep" by Eric Whitacre, whom Althouse calls "probably the leading light among present-day composers of choral music." And the concert will include Vaughan Williams' "Serenade to Music." "The text is by Shakespeare, and the music is sublime and lyrical," said Althouse. "I often think is the most beautiful piece ever written." The program alone is reason to attend, but one of Althouse's colleagues provides another. "We are so excited to have this chance to celebrate the extraordinary impact Paul has had on music at Connecticut College." said Midge Thomas, associate professor and chair of the music department. "It is rare that someone teaches for so long at a single college, and, through his work with the chamber choir, in the music history classroom, and with Make We Joy, the annual pageant celebrating the winter solstice, Paul has touched the lives of thousands of students during his time at Connecticut College. This concert provides a wonderful, final opportunity to witness his love for music, and his gift for inspiring students." "I anticipate a wonderful concert, and the Chamber Choir is in great shape," Althouse said. "We're told you should never pick a favorite from among your children, but I think it's safe to say this year's Chamber Choir is as good as any. It'll be tough to leave them, and I'll miss them all!" Tickets are $5 for general admission and $3 for students and seniors. The concert is free to Connecticut College students, faculty and staff. The Department of Music will celebrate Althouse with a special reception following the concert in Hood Dining Room of Blaustein Humanities Center.

November 1, 2012

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