Montgomery College Music Set to Tour Louisiana

Montgomery College’s music department presents: The Montgomery College Chamber Singers 2007 Spring Tour. The Chamber Singers will perform throughout the New Orleans area under the direction of Greg Ristow, associate professor of music. This program of a cappella music for choir marks the second annual tour for the group, following last year’s trip to Austin and the Texas Hill Country.

Public performances are provided free of charge at two locations in New Orleans: April 19, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Matthew Central United Church of Christ, and April 20, at 7:30 p.m. at St Anna’s Episcopal Church. In addition, the group will present private performances for students at The McGehee School on April 20 at noon, and on April 21 at 1 p.m. at St. James Place Retirement Community in Baton Rouge.

The Montgomery College Chamber Singers is a select ensemble of students and community members from the northern Houston suburbs.

Ristow has conducted concerts with the Eastman Repertory Singers, Gregory Kunde Chorale, and World Youth Honor Choir at Interlochen, as well as recordings of new compositions with the Eastman Chorale. In addition to his duties at Montgomery College, he is the director of the Eastman Summer Dalcroze Institute and serves on the faculty of the Eastman Choral Conducting Institute.

The Chamber Singers tour program includes a wide variety of music, in both popular and classical styles.

“I don’t want to give too much away,” said Ristow, “but we’ll open with a hilarious doo-wop style arrangement of Mozart’s Overture to the Marriage of Figaro. After that, we’ll move into more ‘serious’ music, from the Renaissance, Romantic and Modern eras. We’ll close with three American spirituals, which will give us a chance to showcase some of the star solo voices in the choir.”

Besides the spirituals and Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Overture, the Chamber Singers will also perform music by William Byrd, Samuel Barber (author of the famous Adagio for Strings), Edvard Grieg, and a work by Einojuhani Rautavaara set to poetry by Garcia Lorca.

As director of choirs and a faculty member, Ristow is dedicated to his students and the performing arts.  Each year the choir travels to new venues.

“A tour like this is a great chance for us to share our music making with a much wider audience,” he added. “Moreover, New Orleans is such a famously musical town; it’s an honor to have the chance to perform there.”

For the tour, the students prepare all year long to provide a variety of pieces to varied audiences.

“Presenting a full program of ‘a cappella’ music--music with no piano accompaniment--is a challenge for singers of this age,” said Ristow. “They’ve really risen to the occasion!”

The Chamber Singers and Concert Choir will return from their travels to complete the tour with a concert for the Montgomery College community on April 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mainstage theatre (Building D), including a special performance of Gabriel Faure’s Requiem. The tour is open to the community and free of charge at most facilities.

Spring Tour Performance Dates and Locations:

April 19, 7:30 p.m. at St. Matthew Central United Church of Christ (1333 S. Carrollton Ave, New Orleans, LA)  Open to public, free admission.
April 20, Noon at The McGehee School (2343 Prytania St., New Orleans, LA)

April 20, 7:30 p.m. at St Anna’s Episcopal Church (1313 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans, LA) Open to public, free admission.
April 21, at 1 p.m. at St. James Place Retirement Community in Baton Rouge (333 Lee Drive,  Baton Rouge, LA).

The Montgomery College music department offers an associate’s degree in music with transfer to any Texas music program as a junior. As part of a Montgomery College music education, all music majors receive an Apple iPod to use within the program to support coursework, and have an opportunity to work one-on-one with nationally-known faculty. For more information about the Chamber Singers Tour or the music department at Montgomery College, contact Amy Cooper at (936) 273-7021, or Gregory Ristow at  (936) 273-7270. More information is also available online at http://music.montgomery-college.com.

For more information about Montgomery College, visit montgomery.lonestar.edu, or call (936) 273-7000. Montgomery College is located at 3200 College Park Drive, approximately one-quarter mile west of I-45 between Conroe and The Woodlands.

NHMCCD, among the largest and fastest growing community colleges in Texas, comprise, Cy-Fair College, Kingwood College, Montgomery College, North Harris College, Tomball College, six satellite centers, and The University Center..