Rogue Valley Chorale
Although the program titles for her first year as artistic director of Rogue Valley Chorale were chosen before she had the job, Laurie Anne Hunter had no trouble picking songs for the group's "Spring Splendor" program.
"I wanted to pick songs that were about spring or tied to it in some way," Hunter says.
The issue was never what to pick, but rather how to narrow it all down into a single program.
Rogue Valley Chorale's "Spring Splendor" concert is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at the Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford.
The program will feature music by Bach, Eric Whitacre, John Rutter, The Beatles and more.
The choir will perform a piece by local composer Jodie French titled "To-Night," which features words from a poem by Sara Teasdale. They will also perform an Eric Whitacre piece called "Cloudburst" with Southern Oregon University's Chamber Choir.
"That group is incredibly talented," Hunter says. "Because they've had more rehearsal time than us, they've been able to memorize the piece so that they can incorporate choreographed hand motions to depict the rain and clouds."
Hunter believes that her first season as artistic director has gone well.
"It was a surprisingly smooth transition," Hunter says. "It helped to have the support of (previous director) Lynn Sjolund and a familiarity with the group. I've guest-conducted and filled in for accompanists in the past."
Sjolund — who directed Rogue Valley Chorale for 40 years and retired following the 2013 season — will be presented with the title of "conductor emeritus" at both concerts.
As the 2014 season comes to a close, Hunter is already looking forward to some big things in the 2015 season. The group is planning to perform in Spain next June.
Hunter is also planning a choir festival that will bring together all of the Rogue Valley Chorale groups for one concert in March.
"There are four youth choruses under the Rogue Valley Chorale banner: Discovery Chorus, Children's Chorus, Middle School Cantare Chorus and High School Youth Ensemble," Hunter says. "We want to have all five choirs (the four youth groups and Rogue Valley Chorale) perform at one concert, with a mass choir number featuring everyone to close the show. Usually the youth choruses put on two concerts each year, but never have we put on a concert like this before."
Tickets for "Spring Splendor" cost $10 or $20, $5 for students and can be purchased at the box office, 16 S. Bartlett St., Medford, online at www.craterian.org or by calling 541-779-3000.