The Kenyon College Chamber Singers, conducted by Dr. Benjamin Locke, will be performing on Sunday, March 6, 2022, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 30 West Woodruff Avenue, Columbus, Ohio, at 2:00 p.m. The Chamber Singers, consisting of forty-nine undergraduates chosen by competitive audition, is Kenyon’s premier touring ensemble. The group is noted for its versatility of vocal style and broad repertoire. The New York Concert Review applauded the artistry of the ensemble, stating “the young members of the Chamber Singers…retain the proper lightness to navigate the translucent textures of Sweelinck’s Cantate Domino and Palestrina’s Sicut Cervus…focused intently on the conductor, the singers kept their audience hanging on every word.”
The Chamber Singers will again present an eclectic mix of a cappella choral repertoire on their 2022 Spring Tour. A centerpiece to the program will be Johann Sebastian Bach’s motet Singet dem Herr ein neues Lied (Sing to the Lord a new song), with numerous other compositions by composers Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Eurydice V. Osterman, Morten Lauridsen, Adolphus Hailstork, Elliott Carter, and others. The ensemble is noted for its regular inclusion of music from South Africa, which this year includes Sangena (We’re coming in!), a Zulu processional arranged by Mzilikazi Khumalo.
The members of Chamber Singers come from twenty-two states and the countries of China and Egypt. A minority of the singers have declared music as their academic major, with the rest having chosen fields such as mathematics, psychology, political science, economics, history, and English, to name but a few. All the singers value music as an integral part of a liberal-arts education and take great pride in reaching for the highest musical standards in performance.
Benjamin Locke is in his thirty-eighth year at Kenyon. He directs the Kenyon Community Choir, teaches music theory, conducting and voice, and is also the musical director of the Knox County Symphony (based in Mount Vernon, Ohio). He has written several research articles on the choral music of Johannes Brahms and has also published many transcriptions and arrangements of South African folksongs. Dr. Locke earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied extensively with Robert Fountain.
The Music Department consists of six distinguished faculty in the areas of musicology, music theory and performance, and ethnomusicology. The Department resides in the Storer Music Building with state-of-the-art classrooms and performance spaces. Applied study is offered in piano, woodwinds, brass, strings, and voice as well as organ, harp, harpsichord and percussion. Both music majors and non-majors participate in the numerous instrumental and vocal ensembles on campus.
Kenyon College is Ohio’s oldest private college and has been building a reputation for excellence for more than one hundred ninety-eight years. It boasts a remarkably dedicated faculty, a carefully planned liberal arts curriculum, a highly capable student body, and alumni who have contributed significantly in all walks of life.