FolkLib Index - Ripon College: Liner Notes

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          Below is the complete text of the liner notes printed in the inside front cover of the 1951 album released by the Ripon College Choir titled: "The Ripon Christmas Album", a set of four 78 rpm records.

The Ripon Christmas Album

          Music at Ripon has flourished as a major campus activity since the college was founded in 1851. The present 80-voice choir whose work is included in this album was organized in 1942, but behind it lies a strong tradition of campus-wide participation in musical activities which function apart from the music department and bring together students of wide academic interests.

          Largely responsible for the musical heritage behind the Ripon College Choir is Harold Chamberlain, professor of music. He joined the Ripon faculty in 1925 as director of the choir and head of the music department. Under his guidance the Glee Club, as the college's chief musical organization was then called, toured annually and began talking the name of Ripon to music lovers throughout Wisconsin.

          Present director of the choir is William John Peterman, who came to Ripon in 1944 as assistant professor of music. He had given his first piano recital at the age of six, later studied at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, and received two degrees from the music school at Northwestern University. His interest in choral work dates from his schooldays at Wauwatosa (Wis.) high school. Five years ago he added to Ripon's campus-wide musical activities the student-written and student-produced musical show, Ver Adest (Spring Is Here), which has claimed a favorite spot on Ripon's musical calendar every year since.

          Young director Peterman has built the choir into the largest singing group in the history of Ripon College. Operating independently of the music department and representing the entire student body among its members, its tours and broadcasts of the past few years have brought increasing praise from critics in Milwaukee, Chicago and other Midwestern cities.

          Ripon College celebrates its centennial birthday in 1951, under the leadership of President Clark G. Kuebler. The appearance at this time of two albums, the first ever to be recorded by the Ripon College Choir, marks not only a new musical achievement on the campus, but also a new high point in the college's one-hundred years of history.

          "The Ripon Christmas Album" includes favorite selections from several of the Ripon College Choir's traditional candlelight Yuletide concerts.

          The Gregorian chant, "O Come, O Come, Immanuel", is an ancient plains song dating back farther than 1000 A.D. It exemplifies one of the earliest forms of vocal music.

          Three traditional hymns, beloved by Generation, are "O Come All Ye Faithful", "Carol of the Bells", and "The First Noel".

          "The Three Kings" is presented in a modern adaption by the English composer Healey Willan.

          "Bohemian Carol" is presented in a modern arrangement by Norman Coke-Jephcott, organist of the Church of St. John in New York City.

          Two centuries ago in France troubadours introduced a new kind of Christmas carol, represented by "Patapan". Arrangement of the old song is by Katharine K. Davis.

          The simple hymn, "Away in a Manger", was written four hundred years ago by Martin Luther. Soprano soloist in Gerhard Schroth's arrangement is student Ellen Freitag.

          A carol of the 17th century, "While by my sheep, I watched at night", contains an echo effect which is probably of Middle European origin.
          [Webmaster's note: this must be referring to "Christmas Hymn", which otherwise is not mentioned in the liner notes.]

          Following is the lively "A Merry Christmas", with which the Ripon College Choir traditionally closes its Yuletide concert.

          Important to Christmas everywhere is the song, "Stille Nacht", written by an Austrian monk for his fellow villagers

          The choir closes its program of Christmas music with the well-known choral benediction, "The Lord bless you and keep you".

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