'South of the Border'

Travel south of the border to Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Mexico to discover the rich taste of South American music when Siskiyou Singers, under the direction of Mark Reppert, presents its spring concerts.

"The music from south of our border has a very rich cultural heritage that is often neglected in our country," Reppert says in a press release. "Latin American music includes traditions from Europe, North America and Africa. It makes for a rhythmic and harmonic mix."

Reppert and the choral group will present "South of the Border" at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 30, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 1, in the Music Recital Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. The concert will also be presented at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at the Grants Pass Performing Arts Center, 830 N.E. Ninth St.

The concerts will include tunes such pop tunes as "The Look of Love," by Burt Bacharach; "Mas que Nada," a song written by Jorge Ben that became a signature song of Sergio Mendes; "Water Come a Me Eye," a folk song from Trinidad; and Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy."

The shows also include 12 other pieces.

Classical music is strong in Latin America. Composers such as Heitor Villa-Lobos and Carlos Chavez have contributed much to the traditions of choral, symphonic and operatic music throughout centers in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.

"Misa Criolla," a mass by Argentine composer Ariel Ramirez, is one of the most popular choral works in the world today, according to Reppert.

"The misa will include the complete setting of Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei, with the solos by two of Siskiyou Singers' tenors, Rob Lowry and Jim Martin," he says.

Within the confines of its theme, "South of the Border" has as much varied music as possible.

"I'm always looking for a program that will be interesting to many different people," Reppert says. "I think this concert includes something for everyone who loves music."

Reppert adds that the program has challenged the choir, adept at European repertoires, to discover new musical territory. The common trait of all of the music is its exciting rhythms.

Tickets to the concerts cost $15 and are available at Music Coop and Paddington Station in Ashland, Grocery Outlet in Medford and Aquarius Books, The Kitchen Company, Larry's Music, The Music Shop and Oregon Books in Grants Pass.

See www.siskiyousingers.org or call 541-482-5290 for information.

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