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Nov. 18 , 2005
CONTACT: Pam Young
734.487.4400
pamela.young@emich.edu

Eastern Michiganís Chamber Choir to perform at State Capitol Dec. 7

YPSILANTI - The sounds of music will resound throughout Michigan’s Capitol building when Eastern Michigan University’s premier Chamber Choir performs Wednesday, Dec. 7, noon – 1 p.m., in the Capitol’s Rotunda.  

Under the direction of Dr. Leonard Riccinto, professor of music and director of choral activities at EMU, the 20-member student choir will perform a comprehensive repertoire of madrigals, humorous songs and works from European, American, and multi-cultural traditions. This will be the choir’s first appearance in Lansing.

“This is a select choir and we are proud to be a part of President John Fallon’s initiative to create a new awareness of the many excellent programs that EMU has to offer,” said Riccinto.  “We are proud to serve as ambassadors for the University.”

“Any time we can give our young people a new experience, it helps to develop their skills as novice choral teachers,” added Riccinto. “These experiences help them learn how to talk to the public; to design concert tours; and to achieve musical excellence.”

The students, who audition to join the choir, give approximately 10 performances a year including recruiting tours to high schools in Michigan and Ohio.

During the past 16 years, EMU’s Chamber Choir has performed the Mozart Requiem with the Mexican National Symphony and has sung at state conventions for the American Choral Directors Association and Michigan School Vocal Music Association.

“In 1995, our choir was the only U.S. group accepted into the prestigious international choral competition in Spittal, Austria,” said Riccinto. “We surprised everyone because our students were a young group, but they came in fourth place in the competition.”

This year’s choir includes both undergraduate and graduate students from southeastern Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Texas, Nigeria and Germany, according to Riccinto.  They enjoy rehearsing and performing great choral music as an ensemble.

Individual differences are minimized as they focus upon the poetry and music.

Riccinto, who has been at EMU since 1985, founded the Chamber Choir in 1989.

He is the recipient of numerous awards. Most recently, the Ann Arbor Rotary Club North awarded Riccinto the Pinnacle of Service Award in Leadership in Music Education and Performance, marking his 40th year as a music educator in Michigan.

In addition to his work with the Chamber Choir, he is the founding music director of Measure for Measure: A Men’s Choral Society, and is also the music director of the Plymouth Oratorio Society. His choruses have performed with the Detroit, Detroit Civic, Ann Arbor, Flint and Plymouth Symphony Orchestras.

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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