The University of North Texas Collegium Singers — a group of student vocalists specially trained in singing music of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries — have been invited to perform at the Early Music America’s Young Performers Festival, part of the Berkeley Festival in June.
The group, directed by Richard Sparks, is one of four university ensembles from North America that earned a $1,000 grant to attend the Young Performers Festival and one of six university ensembles that will perform at the festival.
“The EMA has recently made it a priority to encourage young artists, in part through their sponsorship of the Young Artists Festival at the Boston Early Music Festival last year, and now at the Berkeley Festival — these being the most prestigious such festivals in North America,” Sparks said. “We’re incredibly honored to be one of two institutions who have been awarded the College-Level Ensemble Grants for both festivals. It says a lot about the depth of our early music program at UNT.”
The group will present a local preview performance of its festival program at 7 p.m. May 8 (Tuesday) at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 2255 N. Bonnie Brae St. in Denton. The program will feature Tomas Luis de Victoria’s Officium defunctorum (Requiem), published in 1605. The concert is free; donations will be accepted to defray expenses.
The Collegium Singers’ festival performance is slated for11 a.m. June 7 (Thursday) at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Berkeley, California.
Students from UNT’s early music program have been invited to participate in early music festivals for several years. In 2011, the UNT Baroque Orchestra and Collegium Singers and faculty members were invited to participate in the prestigious Boston Early Music Festival, the foremost gathering of its kind in North America. UNT won a College-Level Early Music Ensemble grant from Early Music America to give a special performance at the Boston festival in 2011.
The UNT early music program ranks as one of the largest in the country. Each semester, about 70 students take part in the program, which has more than 250 period instruments representing the 16th through 18th centuries. Students in the program have presented early operas, issued three CDs and partnered with Dallas Opera Music Director Graeme Jenkins to present a series of Handel oratorios.
About the UNT College of Music
The UNT College of Music is one of the largest and most respected comprehensive music schools in the country. About 1,600 music students attend UNT each year, participating in more than 40 widely varied ensemblesand pursuing specialized studies in performance, composition, music education or music scholarship. UNT faculty members and students have made appearances on the world’s finest stages and have produced numerous recordings, many receiving Grammy awards and nominations. Distinguished UNT alumni can be found around the globe, in top music ensembles, opera companies, universities and schools.
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