'Songs of Shakespeare'

Oregon Shakespeare Festival actors Robin Goodrin-Nordli, Jim Finnegan and Michael Elich will join the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers in presenting the sixth annual concert of readings and songs of Shakespeare outdoors on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Elizabethan Stage.

"The Songs of Shakespeare" is scheduled for 8 p.m. Monday, July 14, at the festival, 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland. There will be a pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m. in the Bill Patton Gardens adjacent to the theater.

Composers fro many nations have set the words of the Bard to music. Among those are Englishmen John Dowland, John Tavener and Eaton Faning; Scandinavians Juhani Komulainen, Jaakko M&


228;rvi and Nils Lindberg; and Americans Martha Sullivan, Matthew Harris, Bob Applebaum and Kenneth Neufeld.

The Southern Oregon Repertory Singers have been performing throughout the Northwest since 1986. In addition to an annual subscription concert series, the 42-voice ensemble regularly performs with the Northwest Bach Ensemble, and Jefferson Baroque Ensemble.

Many of the members are music educators and professionals at work in the Rogue Valley. The mission of the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers is to promote high-quality choral music and to advocate for lifelong choral singing. It pursues its mission through a concert series and by visiting Rogue Valley public schools.

The ensemble yearly presents music spanning the ages, from the Renaissance to contemporary periods. In addition to presenting concerts of the choral "masterworks," the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers prides itself on presenting choral literature less well known to its audiences.

Honored with invitations to perform at six-state conventions such as the American Choral Directors Association Northwest Convention (1994 and 2001) and the American Guild of Organists Northwest Convention (1997), the singers continue their commitment to educational outreach.

Their 2003 appearance on "West Coast Live" led to 800-plus in attendance at their Shakespeare concert. Their recent CD is "In Time of Softest Snow."

The Southern Oregon Repertory Singers is among the few thriving choral organizations that has a composer-in-residence, Craig Kingsbury.

Tickets are $18, students with ID $5. Tickets are available at the door and at Paddington Station and Music Coop, Ashland; Grocery Outlet, Medford, by phone (552-0900 and at .

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