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February  11, 2010

Augustana Choir tours eastern United States

The 2010 Augustana Choir will perform throughout the Midwest and east coast from February 21-28.

The choir's tour will include performances in Taneytown, Maryland; Yorktown, Virginia; Blacksburg, Virginia; Parkersburg, West Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; Champaign, Illinois; and Bloomington, Illinois. For specific performance times and locations, please visit www.augustana.edu/choirtour.

In addition to its usual performances, the choir will sing at the Central Division Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Cincinnati, Ohio. "There are very few choirs that are chosen to perform at the conference and we are honored to be one of the participating performing groups," said Dr. Jon Hurty, choir director and co-chair of the music department at Augustana.

The Augustana Choir was established in 1931 and has since continued a tradition of excellence in a capella performance. The choir gives nearly 20 off-campus performances a year, and in the past has appeared at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, and The Ordway Theatre and Orchestra Hall in the Twin Cities. In April, the choir will perform at Orchestra Hall in Chicago's Symphony Center, along with the Augustana Symphonic Band and Augustana Symphony Orchestra. The grand multiple-ensemble performance will be one of several celebrations held throughout the year in honor of the college's 150th anniversary.

Sam Schlouch, a senior business management and accounting major, has been touring with the choir since his first year at Augustana. "The choir tour has definitely enhanced my time at Augustana by providing new cultural experiences and friendships. You become very close to the other people on tour," he said.

Erin O'Leary, a senior music education major, agrees. She explains that each night the choir members are hosted in different people's homes, which is her favorite part of the tour. "Every family I have ever stayed with has been so hospitable and generous. It makes me feel so thankful to have all of these people open up their homes to us," she said.

 Dr. Hurty has been teaching at Augustana for 14 years and serves as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States. "Touring is one of the highlights of the year for me and the choir," Hurty said. "I look forward to making great music with talented singers who enjoy making music together. The tour gives us the opportunity to reach out to the larger community and make people aware of all that Augustana's music program has to offer."

                                               

Keri Rursch
Director of Public Relations
(309) 794-7721
kerirursch@augustana.edu