Music Organizations Collaborate to Present the Famous “Carmina Burana”

Carl Orff’s exciting “Carmina Burana” is scheduled for 8 p.m. May 2 in Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall. The first movement has appeared in hundreds of film scores and commercials. This presentation will cover the entire, 52-minute work presented in it’s “chamber” version with choir, percussion, duo pianists and soloists.

The performance will be a collaboration of Cantoria, University Chorus and the Percussion Ensemble. They will be joined by pianists Janet Coggins and Megan Reilly; soprano Jacqueline Collett, professor of music; baritone Ronald Witzke, director of opera and voice professor from William Jewel College; and tenor Thomas Hueber, professor of music (singing the role of the roasting swan); led by conductor Mark Jennings, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities.

“Carmina Burana” is one of the most frequently performed major works in the choral repertoire. The famous first movement is repeated at the end, creating a cyclic form. The poems were drawn from a collection of 13th century secular poems discovered in 1803 at the Benediktbeurern Abbey in Bavaria. Orff set 24 of these poems, drawing out some common themes of human nature: envy, anger, love, lust, joy and pain.

In his settings, Orff employs vigorous and driving rhythms and beautiful melodies, uses humor and satire as well as sentimentality, and draws out an array of emotional states. The popularity of this piece attests to Orff’s success in his efforts.

The performance is free and open to the public. Contact Mark Jennings at for more information.

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