Chorale Bel Canto’s 21st Season Opens with “The Spirit of America”

Whittier College News Release
Whittier College
Office of Public Relations
13406 Philadelphia St.
P.O. Box 634
Whittier, CA  90608-0634

Oct. 25, 2002                                                        

Reference:  02/03: 27                                                                       

Contact:  Judy Browning at (562) 907-4216

Chorale Bel Canto’s 21st Season Opens

with “The Spirit of America         

“The Spirit of America,” a concert of hymns, sacred songs, folk songs and spirituals that showcase the nation’s diverse musical heritage, will be presented by Chorale Bel Canto on Saturday, Nov. 2, beginning at 8 p.m. in the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts at Whittier College.

The concert will include short pieces from the Revolutionary period, a suite of folk hymns arranged by James Hopkins and A Testament of Freedom, the writing of Thomas Jefferson set to music by Randall Thompson, a composer from the mid-20th century.  The final piece is A Sermon from the Mountain, a haunting and inspirational work by Alice Parker: Parker set several famous sermons by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. within a cycle of glorious sacred songs, sung by the full choir, along with an orchestra and four soloists.  The soloists are Chorale members Jean Gothold, soprano, and Gerald Craft, tenor, in addition to alto Brinetta Thomas and nationally celebrated baritone Wayne Shepperd.

Tickets are $12 for the general public, $10 for seniors, and $5 for student rush to students with identification.  Tickets and information are available by calling the Shannon Center Box Office at (562) 907-4203.

Directed by Whittier College Professor of Music Stephen Gothold, Chorale Bel Canto is a community-based masterworks chorale, with a mission to present diverse, high-quality music in appropriate venues throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

Other concerts in the 2002–03 season are Christmas with Chorale Bel Canto, at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Whittier Presbyterian Church, featuring Christmas music from the Middle Ages through today, including sing-along carols with the audience.

The Glory of Bach and the Baroque, featuring Bach motets and other works for choirs, organ, and brass, will be presented as part of Whittier College’s 66th annual Bach Festival at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 8, 2003, in Memorial Chapel on campus at Whittier College.

The final concert will be Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, presented at 8 p.m., on Saturday, May 17, 2003, at First United Methodist Church in Pasadena.

Tickets may be purchased for individual concerts as well as for the entire concert season.  Anyone wishing to purchase season tickets can call the Shannon Center Box Office or visit the Chorale Bel Canto Web site at

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts.  Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Costa Mesa.

Whittier College Office of Communications
13406 Philadelphia » P.O. Box 634 » Whittier, CA 90608-0634
Tel: (562) 907-4213 » Fax: (562) 907-4927