Tuesday pick: Duke University Chorale sings Walter Saul’s songs at Fresno Pacific
When the Duke University Chorale sings tonight (7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 12) in the Fresno Pacific University Pacific Artist Series, there will be a couple of very happy people in the audience: Walter and Daphne Saul.
I caught up with Walter Saul, Fresno Pacific music professor and well-known composer, to ask about this latest installment in the Pacific Artist Series:
Q: Why are you excited about the Duke University Chorale coming to sing?
A: My wife, Daphne, and I are both alumni of Duke and both sang in the Duke Chorale, but not together! So, it will be great to hear this ensemble again after 43 years.
Q: The chorale has toured China, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, England, Wales, Mexico, Central America and across the U.S. But has it ever sung at Fresno Pacific?
A: No, they haven’t. In fact, they have toured California about seven or eight times in the last 30 years, and this is their first Fresno concert ever. We felt that it would be great if they could experience Central California this time around.
Q: Any chorale memories to share?
A: I took the tour to Disney World, but Daphne got to sing in the Washington National Cathedral and Carnegie Hall! She was also in the Chapel Choir that sang every Sunday in Duke Chapel.
Q: What song on the program are you most looking forward to?
A: A composer looks forward to his own music, and I am no exception! They are doing music by four Californians, including my “Yes” and the world premiere of the SATB version of my “The Word Was Made Flesh.” But I am also anticipating the performance of music by my dear friend Frank La Rocca as well as continuing the centennial celebration of Leonard Bernstein, and the Renaissance numbers.
Q: Anything else you want to share about the chorale or upcoming concert?
A: As you know, they will perform in Butler Church near Fresno Pacific University. This is fabulous because the acoustics are wonderful there and they will fill this sacred space just perfectly with their 52 voices.