Renowned for their ethereal vocal blend and virtuosic ensemble singing, the four women of Anonymous 4 celebrate the group’s 25th anniversary with a concert featuring ancient, traditional and modern chants and hymns. The a cappella group performs its Anthology 25 program at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in Penn State’s Pasquerilla Spiritual Center.
The Penn State program, with music chosen from the ensemble’s 19 CDs, includes works that range in origin from the eleventh century to the present. Highlights include Anonymous 4’s first recorded song, “Gaude Virgo Salutata” from An English Ladymass; “Nicholai presulis” from the group’s first public performance, Legends of St. Nicholas; American folk songs and a new work for Anonymous 4 by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang.
Tickets for the Center for the Performing Arts presentation are $42 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student and $32 for a person 18 and younger. Buy tickets online at www.cpa.psu.edu or by phone at 814-863-0255. Outside the local calling area, dial 1-800-ARTS-TIX. Tickets are also available at four State College locations: Eisenhower Auditorium (weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Penn State Downtown Theatre Center (weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), HUB-Robeson Center Information Desk (weekdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Bryce Jordan Center (weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). On the night of the concert, tickets may be purchased at Pasquerilla, but credit cards cannot be accepted at the concert venue. A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.
The concert is part of the Center for the Performing Arts Classical Music Project, a three-year program that aims to engage students, faculty and the community with classical music artists. Learn more about the concert and project at www.cmp.psu.edu/content/anonymous-4.
“We are very excited to have this remarkable ensemble as part of our Classical Music Project season,” said Marica Tacconi, Penn State professor of musicology and faculty leader for the curriculum and academic components of the project. “The voices of the four women of Anonymous 4 blend perfectly to produce an unearthly quality that transports the listener through time. With a repertoire that ranges from the eleventh to the twenty-first centuries, their concert and related residency activities will expose the listener to a range of musical traditions.”
In addition to the concert, the public is invited to a free 90-minute chant workshop conducted by Anonymous 4 members at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, in the chapel of University Baptist & Brethren Church, 411 S. Burrowes St., State College. This unique opportunity is part lecture, part performance and part sing-a-long. The goal is to help attendees gain a deeper understanding of the origins of chant and learn how to properly sing chant.
Anonymous 4 began with Susan Hellauer, Marsha Genensky, Ruth Cunningham and Johanna Maria Rose. Cunningham left the ensemble in 1998 and was succeeded by Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek. In 2006, Rose retired and Cunningham returned.
Stephen and Patricia Noel sponsor the presentation. WPSU is the media sponsor. Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist or local expert, is offered in Pasquerilla one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders.
To read more about Anonymous 4, click here.
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