poster for The Choral Hour


The Music Program of the University at Albany’s Department of Music and Theatre is pleased to present the University Chamber Singers and University-Community Chorale in The Choral Hour on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 3pm at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the uptown campus. The program will feature the New York State premiere of Misa Cubana composed by José María Vitier with Spanish language text by his wife, writer and artist Silvia Rodríguez Rivero.

Misa Cubana blends Classical era Cuban music style (from the early 1800s) with more modern Cuban music, specifically through the use of Cuban percussion alongside the string orchestra.  The work is dedicated to the Virgen de la Caridad de El Cobre, patron saint of Cuba. The mass includes three songs in Spanish dedicated to the Virgen as well as the strictly liturgical parts, all of which are in Latin. The format includes soloists, choir, string orchestra, organ, harpsichord, piano and percussion. Misa Cubana was written in 1996 and premiered in Havana, Cuba on December 8 of that year. It has had more than 100 performances worldwide, with just a handful happening in the USA. 

“I chose the piece because as American audiences, we so rarely get the opportunity to hear music from Cuba in our concert halls,” claims Michael Pfitzer, Director of Choral Studies at UAlbany.  “I believe this is an interesting and important work that deserves to be heard and that would be an appropriate and accessible performance piece for colleges, high schools, and community choruses all over the country. I also want to help to connect the people of the United States and Cuba, across political divide, in our common artistic humanity. Recognizing the very personal way in which José María Vitier shares his soul through this music should allow our audiences to see that the people of Cuba are not so different from us, despite the ways in which economic and political conditions separate us.”

Unitas Ensemble from Boston will be the guest orchestra for the performance. Specializing in the performance of Latin American music, the group was formed in 2014 and is led by founder and Artistic Director Lina Gonzalez-Granados.

There will be a pre-concert lecture given by Pfitzer at 1pm that is free for all ticket holders for the concert.  He will discuss the composer, the work, music in Cuba and Vitier's life in Cuba.

Advance tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff.  Tickets purchased on the day of the show are $10 for the general public and $5 for students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff.  For reservations and further information, contact the Box Office at (518) 442-3997.