River Songs and Tales with Mark Twain Tour celebrates life on the Mississippi
TV LEGEND DON SHELBY IS MARK TWAIN:
VocalEssence brings historic figure to life in November with
River Songs and Tales with Mark Twain Tour
MINNEAPOLIS—October 29, 2014—Minneapolis-based choral ensemble VocalEssence will employ choral music and the words of Mark Twain this November to pay homage to life on the Mississippi River — when the group heads out on tour to four Minnesota river cities. The River Songs and Tales with Mark Twain: Greater Minnesota Tour features American choral masterpieces, folk songs and traditional songs of the river.
Mark Twain will be brought to life by former WCCO anchor Don Shelby, who played Paul Bunyan in a 2013 VocalEssence production of Benjamin Britten’s opera of the same name.
The tour, directed by Jon Cranney and conducted by Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, will travel to Faribault, Austin, Red Wing and Dawson on November 13, 14, 15 and 16, 2014.
“VocalEssence is energized by the opportunity to bring this production to greater Minnesota this fall —taking this show that highlights the beauty and culture of the Mississippi River on the road will be a joy and an incredible privilege,” said Mary Ann Aufderheide, executive director, VocalEssence. “And the chance to partner again with Don Shelby makes it all the better.”
“Mark Twain is such a monumental character in American — and world — literary culture,” says Don Shelby, on portraying the author on stage. “I’m over the moon about this challenge — to bring life to the famous words of this well-known and well-loved historical figure, along the river that so inspired the man and his work.”
Tour dates and ticketing information follow, with full information online:
- Faribault: Nov. 13, 7:30 p.m., Newhall Auditorium, for tickets: 507-333-1620.
- Austin: Nov. 14, 7 p.m., Austin High School Knowlton Auditorium, for tickets: 507-434-0934 or available online
- Red Wing: Nov. 15, 7 p.m., Sheldon Theatre, tickets available online
- Dawson: Nov. 16, 7 p.m., Dawson-Boyd Memorial Auditorium, tickets available online.
Accomplished local fiddle player Molly Sue McDonald will accompany VocalEssence on the tour, which will feature classic arrangements of river songs like:
- Shall We Gather at the River – Copland
- Wade in the Water – Luboff
- Muddy Water – From Big River, arr. by Paul Gerike
- River in the Rain – From Big River, arr. by Paul Gerike
- Shenandoah – Erb
- My River Runs to Thee – Schacter
- Sicut Cervus – Palestrina
- Roll, Jordan, Roll – Tate
- Down in the River to Pray – Traditional
- Mark Twain – Kingston Trio, arr. by Paul Gerike
- Let the River Run – Craig Hella Johnson
The River Songs and Tales with Mark Twain Tour is supported by Land O’Lakes and an Arts Tour grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. VocalEssence, called “one of the irreplaceable music ensembles of our time” by Dana Gioia, past chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, impacts thousands of students, singers, and composers each year through its initiative programs, contests, and support for innovative art. VocalEssence was founded in 1969 and has debuted more than 150 commissions and world premieres. For more information, visit www.vocalessence.org.