CORVALLIS - The Oregon State University Chamber Choir will perform in Tigard, The Dalles, Seattle, and Victoria, B.C., during a tour of the northwest from March 31 through April 3.

The choir will begin the tour with a concert entitled "Curses and Evocations: Singing from the Soul," on Wednesday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. in the Deb Fennel Auditorium at Tigard High School. The performance will also feature the Tigard High School Concert Choir, under the direction of Sue Hale. The concert is free and open to the public, although donations will be requested to support choral music at Tigard High School.

Throughout the tour, the OSU choir will perform "Curse upon Iron," by Estonian composer Veljo Tormis. The text of the piece is based on an ancient Finnish epic poem discussing the mythological origins and deadly uses of iron throughout history. Set for tenor and bass soloists, shaman drum, and choir, the powerful and moving composition employs a variety of exciting effects, including chord clusters, chanting, and even screaming.

The piece is "a powerful work that will capture the imagination of all," said Steven Zielke, who conducts the OSU chamber choir. "Tormis hypnotizes the listener with chant-like singing, punctuated by sharp retorts from the drum."

The choir tour will also include works by J.S. Bach, Arvo Pärt, John Tavener, and Moses Hogan, as well as other spirituals and folksongs.

Following the Tigard concert, the OSU choir will travel to The Dalles on April 1 for a 7 p.m. performance at the St. Peter's Landmark. The Dalles High School Bel Canto Choir, under the direction of Lloyd Walworth, will also perform.

The Chamber Choir is tentatively scheduled to make a Seattle appearance at Kentridge High School during the afternoon of April 2 en route to an 8 p.m. performance that day in Victoria, B.C. at the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall at the University of Victoria.

Zielke is in his fifth year as director of OSU's choral studies program. The Chamber Choir is OSU's premiere choral ensemble, consisting of approximately 40 singers, including vocal performance and music education majors, as well as non-music majors representing academic disciplines from throughout the university. The Chamber Choir frequently embarks on regional and international tours, which included a tour to China in 1996, and tours of Europe in 2001 and 2003.

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