DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – The program for “Voices of Spring” printed below is more than just titles. Meanings abound.

Unwritten: The concert was put off twice because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That, finally, The Dudley Birder Chorale of St. Norbert College could present the concert is significant.

Some titles are of musicals that are entertainment classics – “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “West Side Story,” each featuring soloists from the chorale with love and color in their voices.

Some titles are from star popular music groups with illustrious leaders – Queen and the late Freddie Mercury and Styx with the still-active Dennis DeYoung.

There’s a bit of comedy as artistic director/conductor Kent Paulsen lays on thick slabs of ham in enacting “Johnny One Note” with his one grand and grandiose note.

Spiritual gusto rises twice – from soloists Tim Olejniczak and Emily Terrell Paulsen (teaming) and April Strom-Johnson.

Near the end, an entirely different soulfulness emerges. A certain reverence is part of programs created by Kent Paulsen – symbolism and care and consciousness of being in a complex world – and this concert turns into that mode in the final three selections. The catalyst is the national anthem of Ukraine, which is presented thus:

From the chorale, Yulia Barstow is introduced. She tells the audience of being born in Ukraine and of her hometown being bombed for more than a month and the toll on those she knows. As Yulia Barstow then takes to the podium to conduct the anthem, the audience rises. On the wall of Walter Theatre, wavy brickwork on the side walls is lighted in yellow and blue – the colors of the Ukraine flag.

Peace and hope are at the heart of the final two selections as the concert takes on the tone of a service.

A vitality has run through this concert, on the podium, certainly in the singers with added luster coming in a fine orchestra consisting of Elaine Moss (piano), Audrey Nowak (violin), Emily Sculliuffo (keyboards), Cody Borley (drums), Charles DeVillers (bass) and Elizabeth Brefka (clarinet).

Friday night’s first performance received a robust standing ovation scattered with cheers.


Running time: One hour, 50 minutes

Remaining performance: 2 p.m. May 7



Program: “Voices of Spring”

Kent Paulsen, conductor

Act I

+ “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor” – Emma Lazarus, Irving Berlin, arranged by Roy Ringwald

+ “Come Sail Away” recorded by Styx – Dennis DeYoung, arranged by Kirby Shaw

   Angelina Terrien, soloist

+ Selections from “Jesus Christ Superstar” – Tim Rice, Andrew Lloyd Webber, arranged by Neil Slater

   “Heaven on Their Minds;” “I Only Want to Say,” William Frailing soloist; “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” Janice Evers, soloist; “Everything’s Alright;” “Superstar”

+ “Adiemus” from “Songs of Sanctuary” – Karl Jenkins, arranged by Nicholas Hare

+ “Somebody to Love” recorded by Queen – Freddie Mercury, arranged by Adam Anders, Tim Davis

   Tim Olejniczak, Emily Terrell Paulsen, soloists

+ “The Wellerman” – New Zealand folk song

+ “Johnny One Note” from “Babes in Arms” – Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, arranged by Lisa DeSpain

+ “Make Our Garden Grow” from “Candide” – Leonard Bernstein

   Angie Danowski, Tim Olejniczak, Marissa Helchen, Elizabeth Brefka, Emily Rosenfeldt, Lyle Becker, Robert Tuszynski, soloists

Act II

+ How Can I Keep from Singing” – Robert Lowry/Taylor Davis

+ “West Side Story” Choral Suite – Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, arranged by Mac Huff

   “Something’s Coming;” “Tonight,” Elizabeth Brefka, soloist; “Maria,” Lyle Becker, soloist; “One Hand, One Heart;” “I Feel Pretty,” Emily Rosenfeldt, soloist; “Cool,” Jon Weiss, soloist; “Somewhere,” Patrician Dennison, soloist

+ “Be thou my vision” – traditional Irish melody, arranged by Mack Willberg

+ “Shout Glory!” – Byron J. Smith

   April Strom-Johnson, soloist

+ “Hine Ma Tov” – Hebrew folk song, arranged by Neil Ginsberg

+ “Shche Ne Vmerla Ukrainy” – Ukraine national anthem – Mykhailo Verbytskyi

   Conducted by Yulia Barstow of the chorale

+ “Let There Be Peace on Earth” – S. Miller, J. Jackson, arranged by Dudley Birder

+ “Hope for Resolution” – A song for Nelson Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk, arranged by Paul Caldwell, Sean Ivory


THE VENUE: The 724-seat Byron L. Walter Theatre features a proscenium stage (flat front). Its walls are textured concrete blocks laid in a wave pattern. The ceiling includes white acoustical clouds. Seat material and carpeting are the traditional theater red. The theater is located in Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts at St. Norbert College in De Pere. It is the larger of two theaters in the building, the core of which was built in 1955. In 1989, the Walter Theatre was renovated to improve the lobby and interior aesthetic, adding seating and improving the acoustics.

THE PERSON: Byron L. Walter (1877-1954) was a businessman. He operated Green Bay Hardware, Inc. until his retirement in 1953. Walter was co-founder of Paper Converting Machine Co. and for a time served as president. After his death, the Byron L. Walter Family Trust was established, and it made possible the theater. The trust continues to make widespread contributions to community projects and institutions.