Graceland University’s director of choral music, Sara Blessing, will present a free recital at 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 3, in Carol Hall in Shaw Center on the Lamoni campus. The demanding Sunday repertoire will include pieces in six languages: English, French, Italian, German, Czechoslovakian and Hebrew. Blessing is in her second year with Graceland after working on doctoral studies and a conducting position at the University of Iowa. Blessing is currently working on her dissertation, which focuses on the choral music of Estonian composer Toivo Tulev.
While the afternoon is primarily a solo recital, Blessing has invited a few friends to join her on stage. Graceland Associate Professor of Music Jack Ergo will serve as primary accompanist. Brad Benson, Graceland concertmaster, will add a violin to “Five Hebrew Love Songs.” A feature attraction will be two duets with husband Terry, including a selection from Verdi’s famous opera “La Traviata.”
Blessing treasures her undergraduate days singing and touring nationally and internationally with the Nordic Choir at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Outside of music, she and Terry love to travel with their daughter, Aria. One of her special research interests is the effect that music has on the brain. She enjoys running, but yields primacy in that field to fellow music faculty member Erin Bodnar, director of bands. She also likes to go horseback riding, and she and Terry hope to find a place in Lamoni where they can own and raise a few horses of their own.
The recital at 4 p.m. follows a memorial service at 2 p.m. for Jon Whatley, the late Shaw Center director. The public is invited to attend both.