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Schola Cantorum celebrates 50 years of song

Schola Cantorum, Mountain View's independent choral ensemble, is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary this weekend, with a concert titled ReSound!, which will include songs from the chorus's history in addition to new music.

One hundred volunteers will sing at Palo Alto's First Congressional Church on Saturday evening, May 17. The concert will be led by Schola Cantorum's music director, Gregory Wait, who also teaches at Stanford. Professional accompanist, pianist Dawn Reyen, is set to play along with the singers. Audience members may recognize the hymn "Hark, I hear the Harps Eternal" or Reyen's rendition of the classic song "Camptown Races."

"To some degree, it's meant to indicate some of the really important people that were part of the ensemble," said Wait, citing Schola's founder, Royal Stanton, as well as choral greats, like Robert Shaw, Alice Parker and Jester Hairston, as influences on Saturday's show.

Also on the program is a commissioned song from Eric Tuan, a recent Stanford graduate and former student of Wait's.

"We're about old music, but we're about new music, too," said Wait.

In keeping with the idea of bridging musical eras, Schola Cantorum invites chorus alumni to join in on the concert's final two songs, Giuseppe Verdi's "Va, Pensiero" from Nabucco and "How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place," from Johannes Brahms' "A German Requiem." Scores for these songs may be downloaded from Schola Cantorum's website.

The concert is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., May 17, at 1985 Louis Road, in Palo Alto. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and free for guests 25 and under. The ticket price includes a complimentary wine and cheese reception before the concert at 6:45 p.m. More information is at scholacantorum.org or by calling 650-254-1700.

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