Piping Rock Singers Perform in Chapel

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Piping Rock Singers Perform in Chapel
Photo: Piping Rock SingersPresenting a collection of Renaissance and early Baroque choral works, the Piping Rock Singers will perform “Prophecies” at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 9 at the University of St. Thomas in the Chapel of St. Basil, 3802 Yoakum Blvd. Singers include UST alumni and current students.

The concert includes “The Lamentations of Jeremiah” by Thomas Tallis, “Prophetiae Sibyllarum” by Orlando di Lasso, “Hodie Aperuit” by Hildegard von Bingem and “Duo Seraphim Clamabant” by Francisco Guerrero.

Dr. Clint Brand, associate professor of English at UST, is enthusiastic about the playlist.

“The program showcases some remarkable and rarely-heard polyphonic choral masterpieces of the Renaissance, including the arresting chromaticism of Orlando di Lasso’s ‘Prophetiae Sibyllarum’ or The Sibylline Prophecies, which set as motets the ancient pagan ‘sibylline’ prophecies of the birth of Christ,” he said.

The “Prophetiae Sibyllarum” are various texts which foresaw the birth of Christ and date to early Greece. Sibylline means characteristic of female prophets.

“’The Lamentations of Jeremiah’ by the English composer Thomas Tallis is one of the great masterworks of the English tradition of choral music, and Francisco Guerrero’s ‘Duo Seraphim Clamabant’ is a powerfully evocative scriptural motet, dramatizing the Sanctus of the Mass with all the expressive power of Spanish Renaissance polyphony,” Brand said.

The Piping Rock Singers are under the direction of Kevin Clarke, music director at St Theresa’s Catholic Church in Sugar Land, Texas. Brand will also give a lecture to introduce the music.

“My lecture will introduce the pieces in their musical, religious and historical contexts, while commenting on the richness and diversity of the Catholic tradition of choral music in the Renaissance, as well as its contemporary relevance,” Brand said.
The Piping Rock Singers is made up of 16 vocalists from Houston who specialize in singing music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Formed in 1995, the ensemble has performed at Christ the King Lutheran Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and St. Philip Presbyterian Church. They have also appeared and performed at the Texas Renaissance Festival, entertained for the Houston Grand Opera and furnished music for various events and formal functions.  

“The singers are world class performers and have several distinguished recordings to their credit,” Brand said.

Admission for the event is free, but a suggested donation is $20 for the general public and $15 for students and seniors.

For more information, visit the singers’ website at www.pipingrocksingers.com or email prsingers@gmail.com.

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