Contact: Victoria Winkelman or Kami Duncan
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
(214) 768-3785 or (214) 768-2788

March 27, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Premieres of two exciting new works will highlight "From William Byrd to Mockingbirds: A Choral Smorgasbord," a high-energy, variety-packed concert by the Meadows Chorale and the Meadows Concert Choir at Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts on Friday, April 12 at 8 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. Parking is available at Hillcrest and Binkley or in the garage beneath the Meadows Museum. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for students and SMU faculty and staff. For more information, please call the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787.

The Meadows Concert Choir, conducted by Tinsley Silcox, will lead off with the rousing gospel tune "Down to the River to Pray," popularized in the award-winning movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" William Byrd's "Sacerdotes Domine," works by Anton Bruckner and Alberto Grau, and three Scottish folksongs by Mack Wilberg will follow. The Concert Choir will then present the world premiere of "Kyrie," a work specially commissioned by the SMU Choral Department and composed by SMU master's degree candidate James Granville Eakin III. "Kyrie" is based on the hymn "When Sudden Terror Tears Apart" by Carl Daw, written the day after the terrorist attack of September 11. The first half of the concert will conclude with "America."

The Meadows Chorale, conducted by Dr. Timothy Seelig, takes the stage for the second half of the concert to present the Southwest premiere of "Mockingbird Sings." This multi-movement work by SMU staff member John Gibson is sung in four different Native American languages -- Yuma, Laguna, Zuni and Apache -- accompanied by percussion, piano and bird calls.

Other works to be performed by the Chorale include "Solfeggio," a contemporary arrangement of the simple notes of the scale accompanied by "singing" glasses; "Adiemus" from "Songs of Sanctuary" by popular composer Karl Jenkins; Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Serenade to Music" with 16 soloists; and the traditional text "Why Can't I Keep From Singing?" by Gwyneth Walker. The concert concludes with "Insalata Italiana," Richard Genee's operatic parody.

The Meadows Chorale features the most advanced vocal and musical talent in the Meadows School, and has performed by invitation at conferences in the U.S. and Europe, including the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Austria. The Meadows Concert Choir is comprised of undergraduate piano and voice majors as well as non-music students. In 1997, the Chorale and Concert Choir presented the world premiere of Simon Sargon's "In Time of Aids" in Dallas. Last year, both groups performed Leonard Bernstein's "Chichester Psalms" at the Meyerson Symphony Center.

Dr. Timothy Seelig is adjunct professor of voice at the Meadows School. He is in his 16th year as artistic director of the Turtle Creek Chorale, the world-renowned 225-member men's chorus, and is co-founder of The Women's Chorus of Dallas. He has conducted 30 CD recordings, which are in international release, have reached the Billboard top 10 classical charts and received countless awards. His choruses have sung throughout the U.S. and Europe. As a singer, he has made his European and American opera debuts and solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall. He has two solo CDs, "Two Worlds" and "Everything's Possible."

Tinsley Silcox has served as a choral conductor for churches, schools, community choruses and professional ensembles. He was founder and director of a professional chamber music ensemble in Knoxville, TN; founder and director of the Lafayette-Oxford-University Community Chorus in Oxford, MS; and assistant director of the University of Tennessee Concert Choir. Locally, he is founder and artistic director of the Dallas-based professional choir Bel Canto, and director of music for NorthPark Presbyterian Church. Silcox also serves as director of the Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library and of the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, both at the Meadows School.