Keystone Oaks School District News Article

The Mendelssohn Choir coming soon

The Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh is comprised of 51 kids ranging from 8th to 12th grade and has been a presence in the city since its origination in 1986. It performs primarily classical pieces, but this year its repertoire also features some Irish and Scottish numbers that give the concert a bit of a Gaelic aura. The songs for the concert include (but are not limited to) Cúnla, Pergolesi’s Magnificat, and never-before heard Requiem Fragments by Junior Mendelssohn Alumna Katherine Pukinskis, who wrote it specifically for this choir.

Pukinskis’ piece is not the only premier of the concert, as Stephen Neely, a CAPA music instructor and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, has taken the reigns from last year’s director Maria Semplar. He has added to the academic side of the choir in particular as he has included teaching general music techniques alongside the performance pieces. For example, he integrated eurythmics into the practices, a method that combines musicianship with movement in an effort to get the hang of more difficult rhythmic patterns and be more expressive with the music. This practice helps singers get a general grasp of the aforementioned songs especially due to sustained notes that are featured in a number of them. It also aids in finding how to express the general feelings meant to be produced by the songs.

In short, this year’s concert promises to be one to remember. If you are interested in attending, it is on Sunday, November 8th at 4:00pm, and is located at Third Presbyterian Church in Oakland. Tickets are sold at $5.00 for students and $10.00 for adults. They can also be ordered at this link:

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