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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Macalester College Presents “Timeless Melodies” Choral Concert

November 24, 2009 - St. Paul, Minn. - The world premiere of a new composition by Jan Gilbert will be among the highlights of the Macalester Music Department’s winter concert, to be held Saturday, December 5 in the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul. The performance is at 8 p.m., with a pre-concert talk at 7:30 p.m.

Gilbert, a Macalester faculty member and nationally recognized composer, has written “Songs of Transformation.” The Macalester Concert Choir—featuring Persian ney player Hossein Omoumi—will perform the piece, which is based on a medieval Persian text by Hafiz.

Omoumi has been studying the ney, the traditional reed flute of Iran, since the age of 14. He has performed throughout Europe and the United States, including at the Getty Center in Los Angels and the World Music Institute in New York. He is also a noted scholar and teacher of Persian music.

Also performing will be the Singing Scotsmen of Macalester and the Hildegard Singers (women’s ensemble). The three choirs will perform a varied program based upon chants, carols, and folk songs, including pieces by J.S. Bach, Monteverdi, Rosephayne Powell, and St. Paul native Linda Kachelmeier.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,958 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.  Read more at