Alumni Join UNC Combined Chorus at GPO
November 8, 2021
Pictured above: Galen Darrough, DMA, emeritus director of Choral Studies at UNC, has been with the university for three decades. In 2020, he conducted at the Colorado State Capitol for Greeley Day at the Capitol. He'll be conducting The Brahm's Celebration Nov. 13 at the Union Colony Civic Center in Greeley.
Most years, the UNC Combined Chorus gives UNC choral students an opportunity to perform at the Union Colony Civic Center in Greeley with the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra (GPO). That tradition has been on hold due to the pandemic, but this year it’s coming back with a heartfelt flourish.
Under the direction of Galen Darrough, DMA, emeritus director of Choral Studies at the University of Northern Colorado, A Brahms Celebration, set for 7:30 p.m. on November 13, will feature the talents of soprano Megan Mellenthein and baritone David Grogan, UNC choral students and more than 90 UNC alumni from around the country. The alumni – hearing about the program and Darrough’s role – volunteered to travel and perform in appreciation for his work at UNC over the past 30 years.
“We wanted to recognize Galen’s three decades of service and partnerships with GPO, but then the pandemic hit, and we had to kind of restructure this concert. When we were crafting the season, we wanted to hold true to what we do with the UNC Combined Chorus, which is usually 180 singers, roughly, and almost 200 for this one,” says Nick Kenny ’16, GPO music director.
“It’s just an exceptional experience for the students. Very rarely do any music students get to perform with a professional orchestra. For UNC students to get to do it almost on an annual basis, is just really special, and we wanted to give back to Galen for exactly that – all the years of collaborations. This is a true just masterpiece of a concert,” he says.
The second half of the program will be Brahms’ German Requiem.
Kenny explains that while most requiems are funereal, the Brahms Requiem was a fitting choice. “The German Requiem is more focused on those who are bearing the suffering. It’s just a very powerful message for what we’re going through with the pandemic. With five million people dead world-wide, we thought it would be appropriate to perform this requiem."
The first half of the program will feature the lively Academic Festival Overture, and a selection of Brahms’ beloved Hungarian Dances.
“It’s great to be able to recognize Galen and have a piece of music that if you start unpeeling the layers, means a lot. And being able to share that with current UNC students who’ve gone through so much in the past year and a half, and to bring in almost 100 alumni from across the country to perform with Galen – he’s just made such a lasting imprint in the arts in our community, and it’s nice to be able to partner and recognize and celebrate that,” Kenny says.
For tickets, go to Greeleyphil.org and click on events, or you can order Livestream access.