November 22, 2013

Utica Campus choir to perform Christmas Cantata

The 45-member voice choir of the Choral Music Department on the Utica Campus, under the leadership of Dr. Bobby G. Cooper, will perform Cantata #142, “uns ist ein kind geboren,”…
BY: Cathy Hayden

The 45-member voice choir of the Choral Music Department on the Utica Campus, under the leadership of Dr. Bobby G. Cooper, will perform Cantata #142, “uns ist ein kind geboren,” at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Fine Arts Building Auditorium.

The Cantata, which has been contributed to J.S. Bach, was originally written in German but will be performed in English.

The Cantata begins with a short overture that sets an anticipatory mood for the first choral movement, “for us a child is born.” This exciting movement is the longest of the work, imitative in musical style, followed by an aria for bass and a chorus of praise in triple meter, homophonic texture, and fast tempo. A tenor aria precedes a recitative and aria for alto. A concluding movement is an energetic chorale of praise entitled “Alleluia” that is simply written for the chorus but with a soaring continuously flowing sixteenth-note melody written above the voices.

Again this year, the Southern String Players, under the leadership of Alejandero Encinas, artistic director of Education for the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, will provide the accompaniment for the Cantata. Also assisting at the piano for the Christmas work will be Utica native Judy Walker. She has served for many years as the accompanist for the college choir. Guest soloists for the work attributed to Bach will be tenor Jason Walker of Utica and Calvin Bogan of Jackson, a Utica Campus baritone graduate and Jackson State University senior music performance major.

The renowned Utica Jubilee Singers will also perform in the winter concert. Their repertoire will consist of original materials as performed by the founding Utica Jubilee Singers. Additionally, they will sing contemporary Christmas tunes, spirituals and blues genres.

Tamarceo Show of Florence and Jasmine Jones of Jackson will be featured soloists at the winter concert. Shaw, a Utica Campus music graduate, received a Bachelor of Music Performance degree in April 2012 from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. Jones is a Utica Campus sophomore graphic design major.

A variety of well-known anthems and spirituals will also be featured during the concert. As customary, the concert will conclude with a number of rousing renditions of contemporary gospel selections. Cedric Smith, Calvin Bogan, Jeremy Bew, Maurice Durr, Raphael McDonald, Cedric Stinson and Dijhonne Singleton, all Utica Campus graduates and former Jubilees, will assist the choir with this section of gospel music.

The concert will be dedicated to Frank Crump Jr., who was a long time director and faculty of Vocational-Technical Education on the Utica Campus, and Jimmie Lewis, a graduate of both Hinds AHS and Utica Junior College, who was an outstanding member and soloist with the college choir.

Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Dr. Bobby Cooper at .601.885.7079 or see the Hinds website at