In a Musica! mood

In a Musica! mood

“Legend & Lore” is the theme of Musica!’s 19th season in Dayton

By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

The Musica! ensemble will perform their first concert, ‘Once Upon a Time’ on October 1.

The Musica! ensemble will perform their first concert, ‘Once Upon a Time’ on October 1.

If you were a kid of the 1960s, then “music” meant an introduction to rockabilly sensation Elvis Presley and the absolute hysteria surrounding the invasion of British rock band, the Beatles. And what musical depiction of the ‘60s would be complete without a nod to the well-known rock festival, Woodstock?

On the other hand, the 1980s was a time for Michael Jackson’s moonwalk, the emergence of Madonna and the invention of MTV, the music television station that would catapult the popularity of the music video.

And in 2011, in Dayton, the music scene is just as diverse and plentiful with one group in particular, Musica!, entering its 19th concert season, “Legend & Lore,” as one of the city’s first and foremost choral ensembles.

“People will love a Musica! concert because of the quality and energy of the group,” said Pam McGinnis, board member of Musica!. “Their diverse repertoire is always fun, refreshing and first-class.”

The group’s season kicks off a new and interesting era for the ensemble. After six years under the direction of Dr. John Leman of the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and 12 years under Dr. Robert Jones of the University of Dayton, this season will boast three guest directors while the group searches for a full-time artistic director to fill the position.

Musica!’s 2011-2012 season was designed to emphasize the link between stories and songs. McGinnis explained this notion is based on the idea that the human race has long recorded its history, legends, myths and lore in music, “immortalizing poetry and stories from long ago and here and now.”

The group plans to continue that tradition with its first concert, Once Upon a Time, October 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Celebration Center at Epiphany Lutheran Church. The performance will be repeated October 2 at 3 p.m. at South Park United Methodist Church. The concert will feature Ginger Minneman, an active soloist and music educator at Wright State University and throughout the Dayton area.

In December, Musica!’s season will continue with ‘Twas the Night, an ode to the holiday season that will feature guest conductor Joseph Beal. Music selections will include works by Eric Whitacre, Alfred Burt, Robert Shaw, John Rutter, Gene Peurling, Robert DeCormier and others. Performances will be December 10 at 7:30 p.m. at David’s United Church of Christ and December 11 at 3 p.m. at Lutheran Church of Our Savior.

Wrapping up the season is Into the Sunset, which will take place May 5 and 6. The program is designed with springtime in mind and will feature music from Madrigals Old & New, partsongs from Romantic era Germany and a variety of American music and choruses from operettas. The performance will feature guest conductor Dr. Drew Collins, associate director of Choral Studies and Music Education at Wright State University.

“I encourage everyone to come enjoy this group, they’ll be glad they did,” said McGinnis. “You’ll leave the concert in a better mood!”

Ticket prices for all concerts are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors/students. Tickets are available at the door or can be ordered via the website,, or by calling Musica!’s office at (937) 222-2787, ext 240.

Reach DCP freelance writer Caroline Shannon-Karasik at

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