Collegiate Choir Presents Home Concert as Part of Spring Tour

Co Choir
Collegiate Choir

Feb. 27, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, IL — Illinois Wesleyan University’s Collegiate Choir, which includes local residents Grace Ellen Losey ’16 and Braden Poole ’16, will present the final concert of its annual spring tour March 17 at 8 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, 502 E. Front St.

The concert is one of nine appearances the Choir will make during its 2015 spring concert tour. The tour itinerary includes performances in Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Maryland, and Ohio.

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 64-year history has added many significant works to the choral repertoire and resulted in a number of important world premieres at Illinois Wesleyan University.

The 44-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 spanning six centuries and a variety of languages. 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 Dr. J. Scott Ferguson, Director of Choral Activities at Illinois Wesleyan University. The Collegiate Choir has received acclaim for the “breath-taking beauty and skill of the voices, the superb repertoire, and the awesome musicality.” Programs have been called “wonderfully well-selected, versatile, interesting, and musical.” An Estonian conductor praised the choir’s “clear intonation, beautiful and sound harmony, multifarious strokes, and broad dynamic scale.” A renowned Czech conductor noted, “I was overwhelmed by the great intonation, precise rhythm, beautiful work with dynamics, and incredible stylistic interpretation of compositions from all style periods and genres.”

This year’s tour program includes literature from the Renaissance, Early American, and Contemporary eras. The program will include three Renaissance motets, including the grand three-movement Or soit loué l’Éternel by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck; three pieces by the 18th-century American composer William Billings; To See A World by contemporary Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström, and When Music Sounds by Stephen Paulus.

The choir will begin the second half of the program with performances of Arise, My Dove, a three-movement work by British composer Philip Lawson, written for the Collegiate Choir and British a cappella vocal ensemble the King’s Singers. The final section of the program will include Scherzo by Lars Edlund, Musicians Wrestle Everywhere by Elliott Carter, The Road Home by Stephen Paulus, and Salmo de Alabanza by Andrew Rindfleisch.

By Kathy Tun ’16