SUNY Oswego Festival Chorus to Perform Atypical Musical Selection

OSWEGO, NY – “I think it’s going to rock some people’s worlds,” said Dr. Clay Price, SUNY Oswego Director of Choral Activities.

The piece he’s referring to is Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughn Williams, which will be performed by the Festival Chorus.

The Latin translates to “Grant us Peace” and was written in the 1930s to express Vaughn Williams’ concern for rising tensions in Europe.

As an ambulance driver in World War I, Vaughn Williams didn’t want to see the world engaged in that kind of conflict again.

The Festival Chorus is known for performing longer works and pieces that “aren’t often typical choral repertoire.”

It is comprised of college and community members.

“It’s a sobering piece,” said Price. “Anti-war sentiment is held by a lot of people around the world and on this campus.”

He called the piece “timely” considering the conflict in the Middle East as well as the recent events in Boston.

“Vaughn Williams was a master of text setting,” Price explained.

Dona Nobis Pacem features samples from Walt Whitman’s Civil War poetry, as well as biblical verses and texts by John Bright.

“The gravitas (seriousness) of all the texts he chose will shine through nicely,” Price said.

The College Choir and State Singers will also be performing a “wide variety of pieces from the Renaissance to the 21st Century” in a free concert on April 29 at 7:30 p.m. the Church of the Resurrection, 120 W. Fifth St. in Oswego.

For more information about this concert or the SUNY Oswego music department’s choral ensembles, contact Price at 312-2983 or [email protected]