Go directly to main content

Cougar Choir to debut music based on classic poem

October 15, 2019

KOKOMO, Ind. –  Indiana University Kokomo’s Cougar Choir will debut a musical arrangement of Charge of the Light Brigade, in a concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, October 24 in Havens Auditorium.

“We’re honored the composer came to us with this piece, and asked us to give its first performance,” said Wendy Grice, lecturer in music. “It’s really difficult music, so it’s been a stretch for our musicians. They are very excited about this opportunity.”

Joel Weiss, the composer who is based in Virginia, is a former voice student of Garry Grice, an adjunct faculty member in music, and offered it for the students to premiere.

“We are happy he offered it to us, and gave us this unique opportunity,” Wendy Grice said.

The music is a choral setting of The Charge of the Light Brigade, an 1854 narrative poem written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, about the valor and bravery of the British Light Cavalry Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava, during the Crimean War. It suffered massive casualties during the failed military action, because of miscommunication in the chain of command.

Before the choir performs the song, Andrew McFarland, associate professor of history, will provide historical perspective, and Karla Stouse, senior lecturer in English and humanities, will read the poem and share its literary background. Weiss also will talk about the composition, and the process of writing it.

“There’s a little history, a little literature, and some good music,” said Grice. “There’s really something for everyone.”

Indiana University Kokomo celebrates 75 years as north central Indiana’s choice for higher education.

Last updated: 10/15/2019