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'Bach, Byrd and Bells' at SOU

The Siskiyou Singers ring in the holiday season with its concert, "Bach, Byrd and Bells," on December 8, 9 and 10 at the Music Recital Hall of Southern Oregon University in Ashland. More than 100 singers perform under the baton of artistic director Dave Marston.

Joseph Yungen, pianist, will accompany the singers. Yungen is a music major at Southern Oregon University, a student of Alexander Tutunov, and has set his sights on a career as a concert pianist.

The Friday and Saturday concerts are at 8 pm. The Sunday performance begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at the door, and are available at Paddington Station, the Music Coop, and Tree House Books in Ashland. Call 482-5290 or see .

"The Bach Magnificat, with text from the Biblical Song of Mary, is a jubilant work celebrating the joy of the Advent season," said Marston. "It features stirring choruses with great Bach counterpoint." Solos include the ebullient "Et exultavit" sung by Suzanne Barnes, the serene "Quia Respexit" by Linda Hawkes, the beautiful "Quia fecit" by Ian Wessler, the stirring "Deposuit potentes" by Philip Hart, and the melodious "Esurientes" sung by Cynthia Garson. A meditative duet and trio complete the work. The concert opens with the "Mass for Five Voices" by William Byrd, considered the outstanding composer of the Elizabethan era. This serenely beautiful Renaissance work has inspired and uplifted concert audiences and church-goers alike through the centuries. Marston observed that Byrd was an extremely gifted and versatile composer, producing works for solo voice, madrigals, motets and masses for the Catholic Church, English anthems for the Anglican Church, and consort music for viols.

The Bells section of the concert features more familiar music, notably "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" and "Carol of the Bells," originally a Ukrainian New Year's carol. The audience will be invited to participate in the singing as well.