Choral Union Will Perform ‘Carmina Burana’

Choral Union Will Perform ‘Carmina Burana’


SUNY Cortland’s Choral Union will perform Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10, in the Dowd Fine Arts Theater. 

Stephen B. Wilson, performing arts professor (music), will conduct the chorus, three soloists, two pianos and six percussionists in this remarkable work written in Germany in the mid-1930s. Tickets will be sold only at the door and cost $5 for adults and $3 for students. A translation of the lyrics will be available.

Using 25 medieval poems, Orff’s composition draws listeners into the rich, dramatic and kaleidoscopic world of “Carmina Burana.” The piece begins and ends with “Fortune, Empress of the World,” effectively encircling four medial sections that tell stories ranging from tender to lusty, to astonishingly unexpected. 

The work is being conducted for the second time by Wilson with the Choral Union. In addition to leading the chorus, he directs the College Singers and teaches music theory. Wilson joined the SUNY Cortland faculty in 1985 and received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1992. 

While Soprano Karen Dumont often performs in operettas, musical theater productions and with the Cayuga Vocal Ensemble, this will be her first performance of “Carmina Burana.” 

Tenor Gary Moulsdale first performed Orff’s masterpiece as a college student chorus member in Toronto, Canada. He is currently a doctoral candidate in musicology at Cornell and member of the voice faculty at SUNY Cortland. Moulsdale is an active soloist, performer and music director in Central New York operetta and musical theater. 

This will be the fourth performance of “Carmina Burana” for Baritone Steven Stull, who sings a wide range of musical repertory throughout Central New York and much of the nation.  He is a recording artist, recitalist and a collaborator in modern dance. Stull co-founded the CRS Barn Studio with choreographer Jeanne Goddard in 1990.

Alan Giambattista and William Cowdery will play two pianos in the performance.    Giambattista, the current pianist for the Choral Union and the Ithaca Community Chorus, appears regularly throughout Central New York and also teaches physics at Cornell. Cowdery is an adjunct instructor at Cornell University and music director and organist of the First Congregational Church in Ithaca. He is well known throughout Central New York as performer and musicologist. 

Area musicians Lois Pfister, Maria Mucaria, Jonathan Walsh, David Alexander, Lynne Curtis and timpanist Anthony Di Bartolo will provide the dynamic percussion required in Orff’s cantata.

The Choral Union includes SUNY Cortland students, faculty, staff and many experienced singers from the greater Cortland community. Since its creation nearly 50 years ago, the chorus has performed new works as well as great masterworks of the standard choral repertoire. 

For more information, contact the Performing Arts Department at (607) 753-2811 or by email.