David Klement

Leora Zeitlin

Some forty singers from the NMSU choirs have been rehearsing for several months for a tour to Germany and Prague at the end of May. Two of the singers, NMSU junior Teresa Acosta, and community member and pianist Leah Houpt, joined Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin – who will also be on the tour – to talk about the music they’ll perform, the places they will visit, and a “preview concert” that takes place at San Albino in Mesilla on Sunday, May 17.

Leora Zeitlin

Sir Michael Tippett wrote his oratorio, “A Child of Our Time,” as a profound protest against the persecution of Jews during World War II, and the persecution of African-Americans in this country (the text declares, “pogroms in the East, lynchings in the West”). Conductor David Klement and baritone Antonio Quaranta, who will perform the work this weekend with the NMSU Choirs, say that Tippett’s powerful message about suffering and hope continues to resonate with listeners in our own day.

Leora Zeitlin

Usually percussion in a choral concert will accompany the singers, perhaps with some bold rhythms but mostly in the background. Contemporary composer Gene Koshinski turns that convention on its head in a composition that will be performed this weekend by the combined NMSU choirs under the direction of David Klement. Marimba soloist and NMSU faculty member Mike Armendariz and Klement discuss the work with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, pointing out how the choir is in the background singing percussive rhythms and sounds, while Armendariz makes the expressive marimba sing.

Leora Zeitlin

Renaissance costumes, humor, dancing, food and most of all music, will be showcased at a grand “King’s Feast” that will entertain plenty of lords and ladies in Las Cruces this weekend. Presented by NMSU’s University Singers and Dancers Unlimited, the event is a fundraiser for a trip the chorus plans to take to Germany and the Czech Republic in the spring. Conductor and Director of Choral Activities David Klement and two students, Zel Hartman and Hannah Hopper, came to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about the festivities.

Leora Zeitlin

The “Stabat Mater” is an ancient text that has been set to music numerous times across the centuries, including by the brilliant 20th-century composer Francis Poulenc, who wrote it after a mid-life religious awakening. David Klement, conductor of NMSU’s University Singers and Masterworks Chorus came to the KRWG studios to talk with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin about this massive and beautiful work by Poulenc, who has long been one of his favorite composers.

After seeing the famous painting “The Peaceable Kingdom,” by Edward Hicks, at the Worcester Art Museum, composer Randall Thompson wrote a large-scale choral work with the same name. Thompson’s “The Peaceable Kingdom” includes texts that graphically describe a world filled with evil, but resolves with music describing a beautiful vision of a better world. Conductor David Klement came to the KRWG studios to discuss the famous choral work with Intermezzo host Leora Zeitlin, as well as works by Gerald Finzi and Mozart. Recorded on December 3, 2013.