Collegiate Choir Spring Tour Includes Concerts in Illinois and South Africa
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The Collegiate Choir from Illinois Wesleyan University will present
three freewill concerts in Illinois before and after a week-long concert tour to the
Cape Town and Stellenbosch areas in South Africa.
Concert dates in the U.S. include:
Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 7:30 p.m. Emmanuel Episcopal Church 203 S. Kensington Ave. La Grange
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 7:30 p.m. Asbury United Methodist Church 196 S. Harrison Ave. Kankakee
CANCELED Friday, March 20, 2020 at 8 p.m. Wesley United Methodist Church 502 E. Front St. Bloomington
In South Africa, the choir will present a joint concert with the University of Stellenbosch
Chamber Choir at the renowned Woordfees cultural arts festival in Stellenbosch. This festival is the largest of its kind
in the country and includes music, visual arts, theatre, writers' and film festivals,
among other offerings. The Collegiate Choir is the first American choir to be invited
to perform at Woordfees.
The choir will present additional concerts in the Cape Town and Stellenbosch areas,
including a performance at a rural township school.
The Illinois Wesleyan University 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 69-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 Collegiate 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.
Members are selected by audition and maintain a rigorous rehearsal schedule in preparation
for their concert tour and other engagements throughout the year.
The Choir, under the direction of J. Scott Ferguson, Director of Choral Activities
at Illinois Wesleyan, 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 sacred and secular music from the Romantic period
to the contemporary era by Johannes Brahms, Franois Poulenc, Gabriel Jackson, Jake
Runestad, Hendrik Hofmeyr, Prt Uusberg, Ērik Eenvalds, and Vaclovas Augustinas, and
arrangements of American folk hymns and Afro-American spirituals by Shawn Kirchner,
Robert Fountain, and Stacey Gibbs.
Featured works on the program include the motet Schaffe in mir, Gott, ein rein Herz (Create in me a clean heart, O God), Op. 29 No. 2 by Johannes Brahms and the most
recent addition to the Illinois Wesleyan University Collegiate Choir Commission Series, The wicked are like the troubled sea by the renowned South African composer Hendrik Hofmeyr. This dramatic motet for eight-part
choir juxtaposes texts from the Old Testament regarding the evils of violent oppression
with ones from the Gospel according to St. Matthew concerning the virtues of peaceful