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March 19, 1950 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1950-03-19

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Talent Combined In 57th May Festih



'U' Choral Union!
You may not notice it, but there's a "tremendous tradition"
behind one of the groups performing in this year's May Festival.
At least that's a property Chorale Union Associate Conductor
Lester McCoy claims for his group-and he has facts to back up his
* * * *
MORE THAN 15,000 alumni of the Union are spread through all
parts of the globe. "You can hardly go into an English speaking
center of the World, without finding at least one former Chorale
Union member," he declared.
Another part of this tradition is the way son follows the
footsteps of father and daughter follows those of mother in be-
coming Union members.
And also granddaughters follow grandmothers: "Just this year
two different women among our new members said that their grand-
mothers told them to be sure and get in Choral Union, because they'd
been in it and had such a good time," McCoy recalled.
THE GROUP and its tradition began in a modest way in the
fall of 1879-15 years before the first May Festival-when some 3%1
or 40 faculty and townspeople banded together to. perform "The
Since then the group has grown to its current size of 300
voices. Soon after- its start, students began taking part and they
now comprise, McCoy estimated, roughly 60 per cent of the
group's membership.
Though the chorus only performs the "Messiah" twice each
Christmas it appears in the spring festival, keeping the group's tradi-
tion untarnished .in an all year effort.
* * * *
REHEARSALS ARE HELD throughout the school year on Tuesday
nights-the night which has been ever since its start 71 years ago, the
Union's regular rehearsal time.
Then, in addition, there's the specific problem of preparing
for the May Festival.
"Mister Johnson (Thor Johnson, conductor of the Cincinnati
Orchestra who leads the Union in its festival concerts) and I are
continually on the lookout for new works," McCoy explained.
The two get together, he went on, right after one festival is over
and choose the works which will be sung in the next one.
* * * *
THIS IS DONE so that the University Musical Society will have
the chance to get the best possible soloists before they are grabbed
for other engagements. "This booking is a complicated businses."
Then during th winter McCoy makes a few trips to Cincinnati
to confer with Johnson on the works to be performed. That way
Johnson doesn't have to "rip anything out" when he arrives for
the final rehearsals, McCoy pointed out. '
As May approaches extra rehearsals are added to the Union's
schedule, six of them with the 55 piece orchestra maintained by the
University Musical Society.

May Festival Programs
May 45,6,7,1950

"WE MUST HAVE professional polish, or
the while of the Philadelphia Orchestra to come
with us," McCoy said.
When the orchestra does arrive, the Union]
rehearsals with it before the performances.

ist wouldn't be worth
out here and perform
holds a series of four

Sink Sends
Mess age
On Festival
Charles A. Sink, director of the
University Musical Society, sends
May Festival greetings with the
following message.
"The May Festival is not an
isolated event, but represents the
culmination of twenty-six major
concerts provided by the Univer-
sity Musical Society. These are
divided into the Choral Union
Series, the Extra Concert Series,
the "Messiah" Christmas con-
certs, the Chamber Music Festival,
and the May Festival itself.
"Symphonic, choral, chamber
music, and solo compositions both
vocal and instrumental are in-
cluded in a well balanced series
of presentations of classical, ro-
mantic, and modern literature;
and employs the artistic services
of distinguished artists and or-
ganizations of recognized standing.
"This Festival, as will be ob-
served by reference to the six
programs, will provide an ex-
ceptionally rich diet of worthy
presentations. The opportunity
of attending these concerts in
the renovated auditorium addsf
much to enjoyment and conven-
ience. The foresight of the Board
of Regents in providing these
attractive resources which serve
as artistic stimulants to both
audience and performers is to
be commended.
"The Board of Directors of the
Society is grateful to the Regents,
to the other officers and the fac-
ulty and students of the Univer-
sity, as well as to the general pub-
lic for their continuous support
and patronage. Through the yearsj
because of this the Board has been
stimulated to greater efforts, to
the end that the legend of the
Society, 'Ars Longa Vita Brevis'
may be reflected in all of their ac-
-Charles A. Sink,
May Festival are still available
and may be purchased at the
ticket office in Burton Memor-
ial Tower until March 27.
At that time, remaining tic-
kets will be broken up and
sold for the individual concerts,
according to Charles A. Sink,
director of the University Mu-
sical Society.
time. Eveningsat 8:30 and af-
ternoons at 2:30 p.m.
DOORS WILL BE closed dur-
ing the numbers.
books containing analyses will
be on sale in the lobby before
each concert.

Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
Soloist: Ljuba Welitch, Soprano
Overture and Allegro from
"La Sultane".......... Couperin-Milhaud
"Or sai shi r'onore" from
"Don Giovanni" ................ Mozart
"Voi Che sapete" from
"Marriage of Figaro"............ Mozart
Ljuba Welitch
Symphony No. 7 in C major, ,x
Op. 105......................Sibelius
Closing Scene from "Salome".......Strauss
Miss Welitch
Symphonic Poem, "Death and
* * *
FRIDAY, MAY 5, 8:30
Thor Johnson, Conductor
University Choral Union
Soloists :
Norma Heyde, Soprano
Blance Thebom, Messo-soprano
Harold Haugh, Tenor
Mack Harrell, Baritone
William Primrose, Viola
Alexander Hilsberg, Violin
William Kincaid, Flute
James Wolfe, Piano
"Brandenburg" Concerto No. 5 for
Piano, Violin, Flute and Strings .... Bach
"Don Quichotte a Dulcinee".......... Ravel
Mack Harrell
Concerto for Viola and Orchestra .... Bartok
William Primrose
"Magnificat" in D major..............Bach
Choral Union and Solists
Alice Lungershausen, Harpsichord
Mary McCall Stubbins, Organ
* * *
Alexander Hilsberg and
Marguerite Hood, Conductors
Festival Youth Chorus
Soloist: Jan Peerce, Tenor
Overture to "Benvenuto Cellini" ...... Berlioz
"The Walrus and the Carpenter" .... Fletcher
Youth Chorus

Concerto in D major, Op. 77,
for Violin and Orchestra ...
Nathan Milstein


* *' *
SUNDAY, MAY 7, 8:30
Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
Soloist: Marian Anderson, Contralto
"Classical" Symphony in D major,
Op. 25..................... Prokofieff
Kindertotenlieder ...............Mahler
Nun will die Sonnso hell aufgeh'n
Nun seh' ich wohl
Wenn dein Mutterlein tritt herein
Oft denk' ich, sie sind nur ausgegangen!
In diesem Wetter, in diesem Braus
Two Hispanic Pieces ............ McDonald
Jeanne d'arc au Bucher..............Liszt
Marian Anderson
Symphonic Poem,
"The Pines of Rome" .......... Respighi

Welitch To Make Local Debut

"No, oh, Dio" from Alceste". ....:...Handel
Love Has Eyes..... . .... ... ....Bishop
"Enjoy the Sweet Elysian Grove"
from "Alceste" .................. Handel
Tomb Scene from "Lucia di
"O Paradiso" from "L'africana" .. Meyerbeer
Mr. Peerce
Symphony No. 2................Schubert
Eugene Ormandy, Conductor
Soloist: William Kapell, Pianist
Preludeto "Khovantchina" .... Moussorgsky
Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op 30
for Piano and Orchestra .... Rachmaninoff
William Kapell
Symphony No. 5 in E minor,
Op. 64 .................... Tchaikovsky
* * *
SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2:30
Thor Johnson, Conductor
University Choral Union
Soloist: Nathan Milstein, Violinist
"Schicksalslied" (song of Destiny),
Op. 54........................Brahms
"The Cycle," Symphony No. 4
for Chorus and Orchestra .. Peter Mennin
Choral Union

1* * *
THREE OF THE soloists, Ljuba
Welitch, Blanche Thebom, and
William Primrose, will be heard in
Ann Arbor for the first time.
Miss Welitch, glamorous Met-
ropolitan Opera star, will be
heard at the opening concert,
Thursday, May 4. She will sing
two Mozart Arias, and the clos-
ing scene from Strauss "Sa-
lome," the role in which she
made musical news throughout
the country.
Blanche Thebom, mezzo-sopra-
no, will be heard in the Bach
"Magnificat," which she will sing
with the Choral Union, under the
baton of Thor Johnson.
* * *
the world's most outstanding violaE
players, will play the Bartok Viola
Concerto, written especially for
Mr. Primrose by the composer.
Other distinguished artists will
include Marian Anderson, con-
tralto; Jan Peerce, tenor; Mack
Harrell, baritone; - Nathan Mil-
stein, violinist; Norma Heyde,
soprano; Harold Haugh, tenor;
Alexander Hilsberg, violinist;
William Kincaid, flutist; William
Kapell, oianist, and James
Wolfe, pianist.
The Philadelphia Orchestra will
participate in all six concerts of
the Festival. Eugene Ormandy
will conduct three performances;
Thor Johnson (conductor of the
Cincinnati Orchestra) will conduct
two concerts; and Alexander Hils-
berg, Associate Conductor of the
Philadelphia Orchestra and Mar-
guerite Hood who conducts the
Festival Youth Chorus, will par-
ticipate in one program.
THE SECOND half of the pro-
gram on Thursday night, will be
dedicated to the memory of Rich-.
ard Strauss, who died last fall;
while the major portion of the Fri-
day night concert will be made
up of compositons by Johann Se-
bastian Bach in commemoration
of his 200th anniversary.
The Saturday night program
will be all Russian - including
works by Moussergsky, Rach-
maninoff and Tschaikowsky.
Several symphonies will be
heard - Sibelius No. 7, Schu-
bert No. 2, Tschaikowsky No. 5,
and the Prokofieff "Classical"
Symphony; and four concertos -
Bartok Concerto for Viola and
Orchestra; Rachmaninoff's No. 3;
Brahms' Violin Concerto and the
Bach "Brandenburg" No. 5.
* * *
ion of 300 voices will perform
Bach's "Magnificat" Friday eve-
ning and at the Sunday afternoon
concert will sing Brahms' Song of
Destiny and a contemporary chor-
al work by Peter Mennin entitled
"The Cycle."
Numerous other operatic arias
are programmed, as well as or-
chestral works - Ormandy bring-
ing the Festival to a close on Sun-
day with a performance of Res-
pighi's "Pines of Rome."

Musical Society's
Annual Program
Stars 13 Soloists
Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra,
Two Choruses Included in Schedule
With a host of repeat favorites and three new soloists, the Uni-
versity Musical Society will present the 57th performance of its world
famous May Festival on May 4, 5, 6, and 7 in Hill Auditorium.
Climaxing the Ann Arbor musical season, the Festival will in-
clude 13 soloists, 2 choral groups, 4 conductors and the Philadelphia

* * *

Marian Anderson Sings
At Final Festival Concert

Appearing for the second time
in two years at Ann Arbor, con-
tralto Marian Anderson will sing
with Eugene Ormandy and the
Philadelphia Orchestra in the last
May Festival concert at 8:30 p.m.,
Sunday at Hill Auditorium.
Climaxing a season of 26 con-
certs this year, Miss Anderson has
appeared in more than 750 con-
certs before some 4,000,000 listen-
ers in nearly 300 cities. She has
sung eight times in Ann Arbor.
** *
MISS ANDERSON made her de-
but in 1926 with the New York
Philharmonic in Lewisohn Stadi-
um, but it wasn't until 1935 when
she returned from a successful
European tour that she won the
heart of America, who called her
the "priestess of song."s
Last summer marked her first
overseas tour since the war, in
which she performed to sold-out
t. houses in eight countries. On
her return to this country she
won a citation as radio's fore-
most woman singer for the sixth
consecutive year in the Musical
America poll of 600 editors in
the United States and Canada.
Amongimany citations and hon-
ors from countries all over the
world, she has received three Hon-
orary Doctorates of Music and
is represented in a mural in the
Department of Interior in Wash-
ington commemorating her Easter
Sunday concert in 1939 before 75,-
000 at the Lincoln Memorial.
MISS ANDERSON'S first sing-
ing was in a church choir in her

Red-haired Ljuba Welitch, the
new sensation of the Metropolitan
Opera, will be the featured soloist
at the first of the May Festival
Miss Welitch, whose name in her
native Bulgarian means "great
love" is making her first U.S. tour
after her triumphal debut last
year in Strauss' "Salome" at the
THE LATEST "Lady of the Sev-
en Veils" has had a hard but re-
warding climb to the heights of
her profession. Pushed by an am-
bitious sister, she left her family
farm at an early age to study both
violin and voice.
After two years at the state
university in Sofia she abandon-
ed the violin to concentrate on
voice training. Three more years
of hard study prepared her to
make her debut at the Graz
Opera House as Nedda in "Pag-
From there she went on to cap-
tivate audiences in the leading
capitals of Europe. She was sing-
ing at Covent Garden when she
caught the eye of Edward John-
son, Metropolitan Opera general
manager. She so impressed him
that he immediately contracted
her for the New York company.
* * *
COMBINING true artistry with
a primma-donna-like tempera-
ment, Miss Welitch has been a
source of delight to critics and
other divas alike.
"It is many moons since any

or doing countless other services
here and abroad, Miss Anderson
enjoys her farm in Connecticut,
where neighbors dubbed her "The
denim belle of Fairfield County"
for working in her garden in
home-made dungarees.
Miss Anderson finds time to re-
cord wherever she's been with a
miniature candid camera

. ..to sing "Salome"
* * *
of us have thrilled to such a
masterful combination of sing-
ing and acting," sighed Gerald-
ine Farrer. New York Tribune
mujsic critic Virgil Thompson
hailed her as "one of the few
perfect singers who has come
to the Met in recent years."
But climbing the heights of op-
eratic success has meant long,
lonely hours of labor. "I'm a hard
working woman. I don't have time
even for hobbies, much less mar-
riage," Miss Welitch explained.
* * *
under the baton of Eugene Or-
mandy will back Miss Welitch's
performances of selections from

operas by Mozart and Strauss. In
the same concert, the orchestra
will also perform works by Sibelius,
Couperin-Milhaud and another ef-
fort by Strauss.
The two Strauss works will
form the second half of the con-
cert and have been programmed
together as a memorial to the
Austrian composer who died last
year. Miss Welitch will sing the
final scene from "Salome," and
the orchestra will perform the
symphonic poem, "Death and
Strauss, born in Munich, Ger-
many in 1864, before his death
was acclaimed by critics as a mas-
ter of the dramatic forms of op-
era and ballet.
* * *
HE LIVED in a period of musi-
cal romanticism, and like his con-
temporaries, his symphonic poems
and opera are noted as pieces of
imaginative naturalism. "Salome,"
his first operatic success, was ac-
claimed for its impressionism as
well as its realism.
Miss Welitch's conception of
"Salome" brought her 25 curtain
calls in her New York debut. Her
recording of the opera's final scene
has been acclaimed as one of the
finest of the year by a weekly na-
tional magazine.
Keeping these facts in mind, it
isn't any wonder that Ann Arbor
concertgoers have already started
licking their musical chops in an-
ticipation of the opening concert
of the May Festival.

Old Favorites
Will Conduct
Hill Concerts
Four Directors
To Take Podium
Four perennial favorites will
once again conduct in this year's
May Festival.
Eugene Ormandy, director of the
Philadelphia Orchestra, Alexand-
er Hilsberg, associate director,
Thor Johnson, conductor of the
University Musical Society, and
Marguerite Hood, director of the
Youth Chorus will mount the Hill
Auditorium podium.
Conductor Ormandy began his
career as a violinist in Budapest
where he entered the Royal Aca-
demy at the ageof five. - Among
his public appearances as a vio-
linist was one before Emperor
Franz Josef.
* * *'
humble and unheralded - as a
member of a New York movie
palace orchestra. He soon progres-
sed to concertmaster and substi-
tuted as conductor of the orches-
In 1931 he was invited to head
the Minneapolis Symphony, a
post which he accepted and kept
for five years, 'frequently ap-
pearing as guest conductor of
the Philadelphia Orchestra at
the same time.
In 1936 Ormandy was named to
his present position as co-conduc-
tor of the Philadlephia Orchestra.
Thor Johnson, conductor of the
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
will make his traditional return
to Ann Arbor to conduct the Chor-
al Union in two works: Bach's
"Magnificat," and Peter Mennin's
"The Cycle."
UNIVERSITY alumni and con-
ductor of the University Musical
Society since 1940, Johnson or-
ganized the Little Symphony and
served as Choral Union conductor
in 1938. He entered the University
to work on a masters degree in
Awarded a two-year scholar-
ship for study abroad, he first
served as a faculty member of
the School of Music. After
studying with Bruno Walter and
Felix Weingartner in Europe he
returned as assistant professor
of music.
Now completing his third season
with the Cincinnati Symphony,
Johnson returns each year to di-
rect the Choral Union in the May
w * *
Associate conductor of the Phil-
adelphia group since 1945 Alex-
ander Hilsberg was born in Noland
and came to the States via the
He went to Siberia in 1917 to.
teach at Tomsk after receiving
his musical education at the
Imperial Conservatory in St.
Petersburg. At the same time
he formed a string quartet which
played for both oriental and Eur-
onean audiences in China.

Philadelphia Orchestra Appears in All Concerts


The Philadelphia Orchestra,
once praised as "the world's great-

last year at the May Festival, the
Philadelphia Orchestra went on a

little speech, saying, "We have no
encore material with us."

High point of the tour was
a command performance for

Eileen Joyce and Jose Iturbi, and

As the house lights were lowered
Iturbi said: "Well, Gene, it's been

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