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Choir to perform “Alpha & Omega” concert in the QCA

February  21, 2012

The Augustana Choir

After a two-week concert tour in Germany and Austria, the Augustana Choir will return to the Quad Cities for a home concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 9, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 2136 Brady Street, Davenport. Under the direction of Dr. Jon Hurty, the choir will present an a cappella choir concert, with works ranging from a Gregorian chant to a Haitian Nöel. The concert is open to the public, free of charge.

The concert at St. Paul is the culmination of a 10-performance tour that intertwined “Alpha & Omega” works with four performances of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, as part of a festival to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this masterwork.

Dr. Hurty, professor of music and director of choral activities at Augustana, said the 75-minute finale concert will be extremely special for students. “Going to Europe to sing is exciting for college students. Coming home and performing for alumni, their families, friends and the community—that’s the biggest highlight.”

Dr. Hurty explained that after a rigorous practice and performance schedule, the students will be at their “ultimate best” when they present the home concert. “At that point, they’ll know the music very, very well.”

Kenzie Conner, a senior music major from Lindenhurst, Ill., said, “I am extremely excited for this year’s program. Each of our pieces is uniquely different from one another.” She continued, “With the large variety of music in our program this year, and the number of talented and dedicated individuals within the group, this set is sure to please.”

Of the 14 pieces the choir will perform, Conner described her two favorites—James MacMillan’s Alpha and Omega and Khristo Todorov’s Bulgarian folk song Svatba—saying, “They are difficult musically, but they also give room for the singers to have fun and enjoy themselves. I am very excited to see the audiences’ reactions.”

The concert program is divided into four sections. The first group is based on the triune God—Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer—and begins with American composer Howard Hanson’s A Prayer of the Middle Ages. The second group of works is based on texts that deal with the Book of Revelation, including American composer and arranger Stacey Gibbs’ Lord, If I Got My Ticket. In the third group, various cultures come to life through music, including a traditional Haitian folk song, Noél Ayisyen. The final group includes songs from the folk and hymm traditions, closing with Children of the Heavenly Father, a piece that has become a regular part of the Augustana Choir’s tour programs.

Augustana College is known throughout the United States for the excellence of its choral tradition. The 70-member Augustana Choir is the school’s premier choral ensemble. Founded in 1931, the Augustana Choir has performed internationally and in some of the United States’ finest musical venues, including New York City’s Carnegie Hall and the Chicago Symphony Center’s Orchestra Hall.

A digital recording of “Alpha & Omega” will be available for purchase by April 30, 2012, at www.augustana.edu/alphaandomega.

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