Bel Canto Choir Vilnius & Purdue Varsity Glee Club: UNBLOCK. Music that breaks barriers
A special night in Vilnius with 120 singers on the stage of the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall.
On May 21, 2017, Bel Canto Choir Vilnius and a renowned U.S. university male choir – the Purdue Varsity Glee Club – presented their joint music project – UNBLOCK. Music that breaks barriers. Two different choirs from Lithuania and the U.S. presented the most beautiful contemporary choral music and interpretations of well-known jazz, musical, barbershop and gospel pieces in a joint concert. Sixty singers from the mixed choir Bel Canto Choir Vilnius and 60 singers from the male Purdue Varsity Glee Club took part in the concert.
Modern choral music on one stage along with jazz, pop, barbershop classics
The Bel Canto Choir Vilnius, conducted by its new artistic director Egidijus Kaveckas, performed popular pieces by world-famous U.S. choral music composer Eric Whitacre and prominent Lithuanian composers Vytautas Miškinis and Vaclovas Augustinas.
The Purdue Varsity Glee Club, which is well known for its spectacular performances, presented its interpretations of well-known musicals, barbershop, gospel and jazz pieces specifically arranged for the choir. They included Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, “When You’re Smiling”, which was made famous by Louis Armstrong, and a set of pieces by legendary jazz singer, composer and pianist Nat King Cole.
90 male voices shaked the Philharmonics
The choirs from Lithuania and the U.S. prepared a special surprise for the Vilnius audience. “Pater Noster” (Motherland of Ours) by the Lithuanian composer Vaclovas Augustinas was performed by 90 male voices from both choirs.
The artistic director of Bel Canto Choir Vilnius, Dr. Egidijus Kaveckas, says that the joint Lithuanian and American choir project was aimed at encouraging contemporary cultural environment, emphasizing our place in Western culture, as well as inspiring the creativity and innovation of Lithuanian choirs.
“We were delighted to welcome this American choir in Vilnius and to perform with them. We are different choirs, hence it was interesting to share the same stage, to learn from each other, to exchange ideas and experiences and to present different approaches to choral music. Even though most of Bel Canto’s repertoire consists of wonderful contemporary choral music, we present it in a delicate and elegant way, yet we are a choir more of a classical or “traditional” type. Meanwhile, our American colleagues combine classical choral music with other styles, and distinctive choreography makes their performance more varied. I am certain that this joint project with Purdue University’s male choir will inspire both us and the Americans and that it gave the audience unforgettable impressions”, Dr. Kaveckas says.
115-year-old traditions, Carnegie Hall and the inaugurations of six U.S. presidents
Established in 1893, the Purdue Varsity Glee Club unites over 90 talented music-loving students at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The choir has performed on such famous stages as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York and at the inaugurations of six U.S. presidents. It has toured Australia, New Zealand, China and numerous European countries.
Artistic Director of the Bel Canto Choir Vilnius is Dr. Egidijus Kaveckas. The second conductor and choirmaster is Milda Zapolskaitė, the choirmaster and concertmaster is Raminta Gocentienė. Artistic Director of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club is William E. Griffel. Producer of the Concert is Audrius Valatkevičius, the President of the Bel Canto Choir Vilnius.
UNBLOCK concert in photos
Concert Program. Bel Canto Choir Vilnius
Anoj Pusėj Dunojėlio
M.K. Oginskio Priesakai Sūnui
Du Dob Dob
Enjoy the Silence
Martin Gore; arrangement by Eric Whitacre
Bach (Again) Come Sweet Death
Johann Sebastian Bach; arrangement by Rhonda Sandberg
River of Dreams
Billy Joel; arrangement by Vitalijus Neugasimovas
Concert Program. Purdue Varsity Glee Club
Ambassadors of Song
As long as I’m Singin’
That Ever I Saw
Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
Aranžuotė David Wright
Old Time Religion – Lighthouse
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Simon & Garfunkel, arrangement by Ben Bram
Nat King Cole Medley
Arrangement by David Harrington
When You’re Smiling
Roll Over Beethoven
I’ve Got Rhythm
George Gershwin, arrangement by Ted Arthur
Gregorian Chant, George Frideric Handel, Franz Peter Schubert, Giuseppe Verdi
Sure on this Shining Night
Arrangement by Jay Gialombardo
Tribute to World Peace
Songs: Let There Be Peace On Earth (Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller), One Voice (Barry Manilow). Arrangement by Jay Gialombardo
Pater Noster (Tėvyne Mūsų)
Performed by male singers of both choirs
Artists & Performers
Purdue Varsity Glee Club
Artistic Director William E. Griffel
Bel Canto Choir Vilnius
Artistic Director Dr. Egidijus Kaveckas. The second conductor and choirmaster is Milda Zapolskaitė, the choirmaster and concertmaster is Raminta Gocentienė
Producer of the Concert