150 alumni singers return to Mansfield University for concerts on April 2-3

Interior view of Straughn Audtorium looking at the stage from the balcony
Mansfield University’s Straughn Auditorium

MANSFIELD, Pa. – The Mansfield University Music Department will welcome back to campus more than 150 alumni singers who have participated in Concert Choir and Mansfieldians over the years to celebrate 55 years of continuous music-making.

Rehearsals begin on Friday, April 1 culminating in two concert performances: the Mansfieldians on Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 pm in Steadman Theatre and the Concert Choir on Sunday, April 3 at 2:30 pm in Straughn Auditorium.

The Mansfieldians Alumni represent students who attended MU from 1975-2021. During that time, the Mansfieldians were directed by former MU professors Jack Wilcox, Youngsuk Kim, and current MU professors Peggy Dettwiler and Sheryl Monkelien. 

The concert will feature three Alumni Mansfieldians ensembles determined by the years each person attended MU. The 1975-2001 ensemble will be conducted by both Youngsuk Kim and Peggy Dettwiler. Each group will perform music representative of their years in the Mansfieldians including There‘s No Business Like Show Business, arr. Mark Brymer; The Ballad of Sweeney Todd, arr. AndyBeck; andLonesome Road, arr. Prosser.

The other two ensembles from 2001-2011 and 2012-2022 will be conducted by current Mansfieldians director Sheryl Monkelien. Repertoire includes:  On A Clear Day, arr. Darmon Meader (with MU Jazz Ensemble); Blues in the Night, arr. Phil Mattson; Moondance, arr. Jeremy Fox; It‘s Alright With Me, arr. Ward Swingle. In addition, two MU alums, Elizabeth Webb and Brandon Bitner will perform solos with the MU Jazz Ensemble.

The current Mansfieldians will present Ain‘t Nobody Here But Us Chickens, arr. Darmon Meader (with the MU Jazz Ensemble) and The More I Need You, arr. Paul Langford. The MU Jazz Ensemble is directed by Jeff Jacobsen.

The concert will conclude with all singers performing the beautiful Phil Mattson arrangement of I‘ll be Seeing You.  The concert will be live streamed on the Mansfield University Music YouTube channel.

The Sunday concert in Straughn Auditorium features about 150 alumni singers from the years 1969 through 2021 under the direction of Peggy Dettwiler.  Their program features Richte mich Gott by Felix Mendelssohn, Walk Together Children, arranged by Moses Hogan, and Abide with me arranged by MU alum, Bill Cutter. Two more selections on the program feature solo instruments:  Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier by Rene Clausen with Joseph Murphy, MU faculty on the Saxophone, and MU Alum, Roderick Nevin, accompanying Amazing Grace on Bagpipes.

The concert will begin with a performance by the MU Concert Choir with the program they have prepared for their appearance at the PA Music Educators State Conference the next week: Sogno di Volare, Exultate Deo, Juramento, Elijah, Threads of Joy, and Clap Praise, most of which have been performed before in October and December but now are presented as a unit without applause.

A wonderful finale with all singers on stage and in the aisles features Somewhere by Leonard Bernstein from West Side Story.

Learn more about the Mansfield University Music Department at music.mansfield.edu. Support MU Music at give.mansfield.edu.