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McPherson College Choir Goes on Tour

posted Apr 02, 2012 in ACADEMICS

Locations throughout Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska will be treated to the McPherson College Choir in concert April 18 through 22. The tour will conclude in McPherson, Kan., with a 4 p.m. concert at the McPherson Church of the Brethren on April 29.

The program features both the choir and the McPherson College Singers, the college’s select vocal ensemble. The program presented by the 55-voice college and the 19-voice select ensemble offers a variety of choral music – of the past and present; large, small and like-voice ensembles and even a bit of Broadway.

“I anticipate traveling with a terrific group of students as McPherson College shares its long tradition of choral music with alumni, future students, and friends of the college,” said director Dr. Steve Gustafson.

Other locations on the tour include Quinter, Kan.; Fleming, Colo.; Lakewood, Colo.; Windsor, Colo.; Imperial, Neb.; and Flagler, Colo.

The program will open with “This is the Day,” a piece for two antiphonal choirs by Gallus; followed by Handel’s “Hallelujah, Amen” scored for male voices and “Sing, Ye Righteous” by Viadana. Featured contemporary works include Frank Ticheli’s “There will be Rest”and “Earth Song” and two pieces by David Dickau, “The Laughing Song” and “Come Live with Me and Be My Love.” Students particularly enjoy singing spirituals by American composers Rollo Dillworth, “Daniel,” and Caldwell and Ivory, “Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down.” Other selections include pieces by Vaclav Nelhybel, René Clausen, Eric Whitacre, and Benjamin Boster in addition to a short clip from the college’s recent production of “The Music Man”, the “Lida Rose sequence.”

The McPherson College Choir tours annually. This year’s tour takes singers to Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska, where students will perform for college alumni, churches, schools and friends of the college.

The McPherson College A Cappella Choir made its debut under Dr. Alvin “Cheesy” Voran on Feb. 8, 1933. The new singing group was formed to expand the exposure of the college in the city and surrounding area through travel and concerts. Nevin Fisher and Donald Frederick continued to build the choral tradition, touring yearly, with the only exception during World War II. Under the baton of later directors, the choir sings a more diverse repertoire of accompanied and a cappella music.

Dr. Gustafson is the choir’s twelfth director and a member of the faculty since 1980; this is his final tour with the choir as he retires from full-time teaching at the end of the current school year. Tiffiney Harms, lecturer in music and piano instructor at the college, accompanies the choir.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend. A free will offering will be taken to help support the expenses of the tour.

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