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Illinois Wesleyan University choir to make tour stop in Denver

March 02, 2016
The Collegiate Choir from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois
The Collegiate Choir from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, will present a freewill concert at 7:30 p.m. March 14 at Augustana Lutheran Church, 5000 East Alameda Ave., Denver, Colorado.
 
This concert is one of 10 appearances the choir will make during its 2016 spring concert tour. The tour itinerary includes performances in Illinois, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.
 
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 65-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 48-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 and Contemporary eras. The choir will begin the first half of the program with three Renaissance motets, including the pictorial Ascendente Jesus in naviculam by Melchior Vulpius followed by a French chanson, an English madrigal, and a German part song, also from the Renaissance. The first half will close with three sacred compositions: Nuncdimittis by Gustav Holst, Evermore by Philip Lawson and Cantate Domino by Józef Swider.
 
The choir will begin the second half of the program with selections from Urmas Sisask’s collection Gloria Patri. The final section of the program will include Exultate Deo by Françis Poulenc, Éjszaka and Reggel by György Ligeti, Shall I Compare Thee by Nils Lindberg, and Prima serie dei cori di Michelangelo Buonarroti il Giovane by Luigi Dallapiccola, which includes Il Coro delle Malmaritate (Chorus of the Unhappily Married Women) and Il Coro dei Malammogliati (Chorus of the Unhappily Married Men).