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2009.04.20 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

UNO, Omaha Musicians Combine to Celebrate Haydn

Omaha - Nearly 200 musicians from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and the Nebraska Choral Arts Society will celebrate composer Franz Joseph Haydn and the biblical creation of the Earth in a concert Sunday, May 3.

The oratorio "Die Schöpfung (The Creation)" features five vocal soloists. It will be sung in the Oxford English translation.

The Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Barry Ford, will join with three UNO choral groups and the NCAS Masterworks Choral, conducted by Tim Marsden, as part of the world-wide commemoration of the death of Haydn 200 years ago. The UNO performers come from the University Chorus, conducted by David Batter, and the UNO Concert and Chamber Choirs, both conducted by Dr. Matthew C. Harden, director of choral activities. Harden will conduct the performance.

Soloists are Karen Kness (as Gabriel), Scott Miller (Uriel), Elias Mokole (Raphael), Melissa Lawson (Eve) and Marc Laferla (Adam).

Haydn wrote "The Creation" in the late 18th century and it was first performed in Vienna in 1799. Next to Handel’s "Messiah," "The Creation" is perhaps the most frequently performed oratorio.

The first two sections of the work take the audience through the six days of creation. The final part is about Adam and Eve. Church choir members may recognize two often-performed movements from the work, “The Heavens are Telling” and “Awake the Harp.”

“Creation is one of the great choral orchestral works that everyone should hear at least once in their lifetime,” Harden said. “Haydn uses many imaginative devices in his compositional process, imitating birds, whales, insects and other animal sounds, as well as, the rising of the sun, rage, joy and light. I have never tired of this setting the Creation story.”

The concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center on the UNO campus.

Tickets are available at the door. The cost is $5 for adults and $4 for students/seniors. There is no charge for students, staff and faculty of UNO.

For more information Matthew C. Harden at (402) 554-3608.

* *

UNO is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The celebration recognizes the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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