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MAC to present Madison Youth Choirs premiere on March 19
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MONROE - Madison Youth Choirs, under the direction of artistic director Michael Ross, will premiere a musical score written by Madison area composer Scott Gendel at 2 p.m. March 19 at Monroe Arts Center.

The score will accompany the dramatic reading of "The Snow Goose" by professional actor Richard Hilger. Hilger and the choirs will be joined by a chamber ensemble of oboe, cello, piano and percussion.

The success of this reading at Monroe Arts Center three years ago led to the commission of the musical score by Gendel, a freelance composer. As a composer, Gendel's music has a wide-ranging scope, but he is particularly fond of all things vocal, having written 16 song cycles, 15 stand-alone songs and duets, five pieces for voices and orchestra, 36 choral works, two full-length musical theater works, and two operas.

He received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a minor in opera accompanying and vocal coaching. Just after finishing his studies at UW-Madison, Gendel served on the faculty for two years, designing and teaching an undergraduate composition curriculum.

Madison Youth Choirs is the oldest youth choir organization in Wisconsin. The Choirs have an international reputation and perform and collaborate annually with professional arts organizations including the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Ballet and Madison Opera, while continually supporting and recognizing the work of public schools and music educators throughout the area. In addition to a public concert series, MYC conducts an annual spring tour of schools and retirement centers, performing for more than 7,000 students and senior citizens annually.

Hilger, after receiving his Master of Arts in Theater at the University of Minnesota, joined the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis as a principal in productions of "The Tempest," "As You Like It" and "A Christmas Carol," among many others. He was a principal in the national touring company of "1776." He performed at other major theaters in the United States, Canada and Wales. While performing in Canada, he was nominated for a Dora Award, previously unheard of for a U.S. citizen. He toured his own one-man show of Dylan Thomas throughout Wales including Thomas's hometown of Larne. He also performed it for Welsh Radio, BBC.

General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students 18 years of age and under. Members of the Monroe Arts Center are free. Tickets may be purchased in person at the box office at 1315 11th St., Monroe, by calling the Monroe Arts Center at 608-325-5700 or 888-596-1249 or online at

The event has been underwritten by corporate underwriter Colony Brands Inc. and media underwriters Morris Publishing of Monroe Publishing of Monroe and Big Radio. Additional underwriting for the Sunday Concert Series has been provided by David and Julie Buchanan; Lee and Chris Knuteson; David and Janeen Babler; Hans and Bobbie Bernet; Gary Hessel; Craig and Andrea Nolen; Gof and Mary Thomson; and the Gunderson Stiles Fund for Classical Music.