Master Chorale and Children’s Choir Present African Musical Celebration
Concert Will Also Feature World Premiere
Los Robles Master Chorale and Los Robles Children's Choir join forces for "Zimbe!," a spirited program of African and world music on Sunday, March 11, at 4:00 PM at Ascension Lutheran Church in Thousand Oaks. The concert will feature separate and combined performances by LRMC’s full chorale, the chamber choir êkō, and LRCC’s Bel Canto and Amadeus Choirs.
Under the direction of LRMC Artistic Director Lesley Leighton, the combined choirs will perform "Zimbe!," a fusion of traditional African songs and jazz arranged by Alexander L’Estrange. Songs in the cycle celebrate everyday life in Africa through sacred songs, children’s songs, a lullaby, a funeral song, and wedding songs, as well as songs of freedom that underscore the past struggle against Apartheid in South Africa. Sung in five African languages and English, "Zimbe!" will also feature African percussion by Sidney Hopson, movement, projections, and narration drawn from the words of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Maya Angelou. Noted singer/actor Mark Edward Smith, who has appeared on such television shows as "Boston Legal" and "How I Met Your Mother," and has performed and recorded with Sting, Herbie Hancock, David Sanborn, Branford Marsalis, and Sheryl Crow, will be the guest narrator.
Another highlight of the concert will be the world premiere of "Yamabiko" by Thomas A.O. Goedecke, a winner of Los Robles Master Chorale’s Young Artist Choral Composers Competition. The piece, which takes its text from two Japanese poems that explore Buddhist philosophies, will be given its first performance by LRMC’s chamber choir, êkō, under Leighton’s direction.
The international tone will be set during the first half of the concert, when LRCC Artistic Director Donna Young takes the podium to conduct music by J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, John Rutter, and Edward German. The Amadeus Choir will sing "Beneath the African Sky" by Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory, which calls attention to recent episodes of genocide and its affect on children. Allan E. Naplan’s "Shlosha D’Varim" takes its text from a Jewish morality law that expresses the overall message of the concert: “The world is sustained by three things: by truth, by justice, and by peace.”
A pre-concert conversation, which is free to all concertgoers, will offer background information about the music. Audience members are invited to meet the performers at a post-concert reception.
Since its founding fifteen years ago, Los Robles Children’s Choir has enjoyed a close collaborative relationship with the Master Chorale. More information about LRCC can be found at www.singingchildren.com.
"Zimbe!" will be performed Sunday, March 11, at 4:00 PM at Ascension Lutheran Church, 1600 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. The pre-concert conversation will begin at 3:00 PM. Advance tickets are $22 adult, $15 student/senior, with group rates available, and a special family package of $50 for 2 adults and 2 children ages 12 and under. Tickets on the day of the concert will be $25 adult, $15 senior/student, $50 family of 4, $10 student rush with valid I.D. For additional information or to purchase tickets, visit www.losroblesmasterchorale.org or call 805/526-SING (7464) or 805/990-3006.