Barry McNamara  |  Published February 27, 2024

Greece, The Musical

Chorale, Chamber Winds to bookend Greek trip with Monmouth concerts March 3 and March 23; Civic Orchestra, Wind Ensemble will also perform in town on March 3

MONMOUTH, Ill. – The Monmouth College Chorale and Chamber Winds will present a pair of concerts in Monmouth on March 3 and March 23.

In between, Greece is the word.

HEADED HERE SOON: In addition to performing in Athens, the Monmouth College groups also have a date scheduled in scenic Pat... HEADED HERE SOON: In addition to performing in Athens, the Monmouth College groups also have a date scheduled in scenic Patras.The music ensembles will spend this year’s spring break on an international tour, with three performances scheduled in Greece – two in Athens and one at the Pantheon Theatre in Patras on March 14.

Music professor Tim Pahel directs the Chorale, and his department colleague, Justin Swearinger, conducts the 18-member Chamber Winds.

“We are extremely excited to present a program that explores important American music of the 20th century, as well as music representing Japan, England, Italy and Brazil,” said Swearinger. “We look forward to experiencing Greek culture and music while we’re there, while also bringing a little slice of the world with us.”

In Athens, the Chorale and Chamber Winds will perform March 12 at the Athens Music School and March 15 at the Mikis Theodorakis Theatre.

The ensembles will warm up for their trip with a concert at 10:30 a.m. March 3 at Faith United Presbyterian Church, just one block south of Monmouth’s campus.

Following the music department’s annual spring break performance trips, it’s a tradition to hold a “home” concert on campus, and that event will be presented at 7:30 p.m. March 23 in the Kasch Performance Hall of Dahl Chapel and Auditorium.

In other music news

The Monmouth Civic Orchestra and the Monmouth College Wind Ensemble will present a concert at 3 p.m. March 3 in the Kasch Performance Hall of Dahl Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

The orchestra is directed by faculty member Rich Cangro, while Swearinger conducts the ensemble.

“We have one senior in high school, five Monmouth College students, two faculty members, and assorted players from age 20 to retired,” said Cangro of the orchestra. “Our repertoire for this concert focuses on underrepresented composers – three women composers (Gwyneth Walker, Amy Beach and Adrienne Albert) and one from Puerto Rico (Juan Morel-Campos).”

The Wind Ensemble portion will have a little bit of everything – from audience participation, to Taylor Swift, to another rock star, Viet Cuong.

MATT WILLIAMSON: The new music faculty member will be featured during a March 3 concert on Monmouth College's campus.&l... MATT WILLIAMSON: The new music faculty member will be featured during a March 3 concert on Monmouth College's campus.“Viet Cuong is sort of a rock star in the wind band community right now,” said Swearinger. “This is a trombone concerto, which will feature Matt Williamson, our new trombone studio professor.”

Williamson serves as principal trombonist of the Columbus (Indiana) Philharmonic and second trombone of the Dubuque (Iowa) Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his current positions, he also performs as a substitute musician with the New Mexico Philharmonic, and with three orchestras in Indiana – the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra.

Swift’s “Shake It Off” will feature a surprise conductor, while audience members can purchase a paint marker and canvas to create a painting while the Wind Ensemble performs “Shenandoah.”

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