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Cotter to perform final concert as director of high school ensembles

MORGANTOWN — St. Francis de Sales Church, at 1 Guthrie Lane, will be the setting for “Gloria” by John Rutter, performed by high-school singers and instrumentalists in a combined effort of University and Morgantown high schools. The concert is set for 6:30 p.m. May 11.
The concert will mark the close of the teaching career of Joel Cotter, assistant band director at Morgantown High School and the director of the combined orchestra from UHS and MHS.
This concert marks the final performance of a high-school ensemble directed by Cotter. He is a National Board Certified teacher who formed the combined orchestra from University High School and Morgantown High School in 2003.
Past performances of this orchestra have included combined efforts with the MHS Wind Ensemble in its annual Spirit of America concert and portions of major works such as Handel’s “Messiah,” Morten Lauridsen’s “Lux Aeterna,” and Mozart’s “Requiem” performed with choirs from Morgantown and University High Schools.In 2010, Cotter was featured in The School Band and Orchestra magazine’s “Fifty Directors Who Make a Difference” issue. His teaching career spans nearly three decades in Monongalia County.
The concert will begin with short sets by two different choirs from University High School: The UHS Chamber Choir and the UHS Women’s Glee Club. Pieces by Irving Berlin, Eric Whitacre, Arvo Pärt, George Gershwin and the Beatles will be included in this portion of the concert.
The combined Symphony Orchestra from UHS and MHS under the direction of Cotter will then perform two pieces: “A Night On Bald Mountain” (1867) by Modest Mussorgsky and “Concertino for Flute and Orchestra” (1902) by Cecile Chaminade.
The concert will culminate with “Gloria,” which will be conducted by Larry Parsons. Cotter will play trumpet for the Rutter piece and many of his colleagues will assist the combined high school groups as instrumentalists and singers.
The concert should last about 90 minutes. Tickets at the door are $7 for adults. All children and students will be admitted free.