MU Festival Chorus to Present Two Performances of Annelies

MANSFIELD, PA—The Mansfield University Festival Chorus, under the direction of Peggy Dettwiler, will present two performances of Annelies by James Whitbourn, the first major choral setting of The Diary of Anne Frank, with faculty soloist Alissa Rose singing the role of Anne Frank.

The performances will be held on Saturday, April 7 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, April 8 at 2:30 in Steadman Theatre.

The chamber ensemble will feature violinist Max Buckholtz, clarinetist Richard MacDowell, cellist Bradley Holtman, and pianist Eun-Joo Kwak.  The program will also feature a video presentation of images taken during this very dark period in human history.

The diary Anne Frank wrote in her early teens, while she was hiding for two years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, has been translated into 60 languages and included on several lists among the top books of the 20th century. Annelies (Anne’s full name) was a joyful and talented girl who dreamed of becoming a writer. The pages of her diary were found on the floor of the Annex after the family had been captured and taken to concentration camps.  Had she lived, Anne would now be in her 80s.

The Festival Chorus is a mixed chorus of about 75 voices, which is open to all university students as well as community singers. Large scale performances with orchestra and professional soloists include Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Orff ‘s Carmina Burana, Haydn’s Creation and Mass in Time of War, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Honegger’s King David, Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass of Peace, and the Requiems by Brahms, Fauré, Mozart, Rutter, and Verdi. The Festival Chorus has produced numerous CDs and cassette recordings.

Alissa Rose, soprano, holds degrees in voice from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, the Hochschule für Musik Detmold, and the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, as well as a degree in Biochemistry from Oberlin College. Her operatic and concert engagements have taken her around the U.S., Europe and Israel. She has performed under such conductors as James Levine, Robert Shaw, and Zubin Mehta, and has coached with Martin Katz and Dawn Upshaw, among others.

Rose particularly enjoys contemporary music, and has premiered several operatic roles, song cycles and concert works. She joined the faculty of Mansfield University in the fall of 2008, and she teaches voice, diction and vocal pedagogy.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and $5 for students and children. They can be purchased online at or by calling (570)662-4710. Tickets will also be available at the door.

MU students with ID will be admitted free.