Collegiate Choir to Perform Tour Home Concert
Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir
March 10, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir will present
a concert at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, at St. John's Lutheran Church, 1617 E. Emerson
St., Bloomington, Ill.
This concert, which is free and open to the public, is the final of nine appearances
the Collegiate Choir will make during its 2005 concert tour. The tour itinerary includes
performances in Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois, beginning
The Collegiate Choir has established a long history of excellence through its on-campus
performances, annual tours and recordings. The choir also sponsors the IWU Choral
Commission Series, which in its 53-year history has added many significant works to
the choral repertoire and resulted in a number of important world premieres at Illinois
The 52-voice choir is composed of student musicians representing the School of Music
and other areas of the University, and is dedicated to the performance of the finest
sacred and secular choral music of the past five centuries. Students in the choir
are selected by audition and maintain a rigorous rehearsal schedule in preparation
for their concert tour and other engagements throughout the year.
The choir is under the direction of J. Scott Ferguson, director of choral activities
at Illinois Wesleyan. Dr. Ferguson's choral ensembles have received critical acclaim
for their “exquisite discipline, enthusiastic singing and total responsiveness.” Upon
hearing a recent tour concert, a conductor from New York noted, “Full, clear voices
full of joy in ensemble singing. Go where they are and listen and revel in outstanding
choral singing.” Another wrote, “The Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir,
under the direction of Scott Ferguson, exemplifies what I feel is the best of the
best in choral singing. The Collegiate Choir sings with impeccable intonation, with
precise articulation and superb musicianship.” Programs have been called “wonderfully
well-selected, versatile, interesting and musical.”
This year's tour program will begin with motets from the Renaissance and Baroque periods
by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, William Byrd and Heinrich Schtz. Then follow three Renaissance
secular compositions by Claude Le Jeune, Thomas Ford and Orlando di Lasso. The featured
work on the first half of the program will be the great double-choir motet, Singet dem Herrn, BWV 225, by J. S. Bach.
The second half of the concert is devoted to contemporary choral music, beginning
with two compositions by two of the most well known contemporary Estonian composers
Urmas Sisask (Omnis una) and Arvo Prt (Bogorditse Djvo). This is followed by the haunting Song of Cherubim by Krzysztof Penderecki. The
Choir will then sing Two A Cappella Choruses by Gyrgy Ligeti and Morning Prayer by
Ben Allaway, composer-in-residence at Graceland University and First Christian Church
of Des Moines, Iowa, where the Choir will be performing on March 18. The program will
conclude with Whispers by Steven Stucky and In Praise of Apollo by Dominick Argento.
For more information about the Collegiate Choir Tour, contact the Illinois Wesleyan
School of Music at (309)556-3061.