Arts Alive! presents “Nguzo Saba Suite” Dec. 2, 3
Arts Alive! the popular cultural series at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, presents two performances of Glenn Edward Burleigh's "Nguzo Saba Suite." Conducted by Dr. James B. Kinchen Jr., and featuring the university's Master Singers along with special guests, this Kwanzaa celebration is performed Sunday, Dec. 2, at 3:30 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the Frances Bedford Concert Hall of the Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities. UW-Parkside is located at 900 Wood Rd., Kenosha, Wis.
Commissioned and premiered by the UW-Parkside Choirs in 1994, the "Nguzo Saba Suite" was an immediate hit and has since been performed worldwide. Dr. Kinchen said audiences should come prepared to be inspired.
"The 'Nguzo Saba Suite' is a mixture of scriptural excerpts--and sometimes scriptural paraphrases--and original words," Kinchen said. "The text is a reflection of Glenn's personal understanding of Kwanzaa principles, his Christian faith, and his desire to connect his text in an empathetic way with contemporary issues, concerns, and needs, especially those affecting the African American community."
The web site devoted to Glenn Burleigh's music credits "Dr. Kinchen's vision" as the catalyst for the "Nguzo Saba Suite" being performed around the world. The Singing City Chorale of Philadelphia has taken it on a European tour and the suite is a major part of the Maryland State Boys' Choir repertoire. "Nia" from the suite has been performed in schools and colleges across the U.S.
In addition to the entire suite, several traditional holiday favorites are performed during the program. Dr. Kinchen said arrangements of "I Saw Three Ships" and "New Born" as well as settings of "O Magnum Mysterium," "Alleluya! A New Work is come on Hand" and others will be presented.
The UW-Parkside Master Singers, a chorus of voices from the community, is supplemented by special guests. On Sunday and Monday, the Choral Arts Society of Southeast Wisconsin joins Master Singers and the Stephen Bull Fine Arts Elementary School Chorale adds their sweet voices to Sunday's performance.Tickets for these Arts Alive! productions are $17 for adults, $13 for seniors and UW-Parkside faculty and staff, and $8 for students. Order online by visiting www.uwparksidetickets.com or by calling 262-595-2307.