Westminster Choir Sets 'Gold Standard' Again

Westminster Choir's recording "Flower of Beauty" earns critical praise.
Monday, September 27, 2010

Westminster Choir’s recording, Flower of Beauty, has received critical acclaim from American Record Guide, and Choir and Organ magazine.

In the March/April 2010 issue, American Record Guide reviewer Lindsay Koob wrote “This choir can take the discerning listener to many places in the sprawling world of choral art – but in the process, they never fail to drop you off in choral heaven along the way.”  American Record Guide is the nation’s oldest classical music review magazine

Flower of Beauty, Westminster Choir’s debut recording with Maestro Joe Miller, was released in September 2009 and includes a variety of works that represent the ensemble’s broad range.  In addition to the title work, John Clements’ Flower of Beauty, the recording includes William Byrd’s Haec Dies, “Sanctus et Benedictus” from Frank Martin’s Messe, as well as an arrangement by James Erb of Shenanadoah and an arrangement by K. Lee Scott of In Bright Mansions Above. The recording also features a composition by Nathan Jones M.M. ’09, I Would Live in Your Love, a setting of the poem by turn-of-the-century poet Sara Teasdale. 

Koob described the Westminster Choir as the “gold standard for academic choirs in America for nearly a century.” The choir, under the direction of Miller, is composed of students at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, a division of Westminster College of the Arts, in Princeton, N.J. It has been the chorus-in-residence for the Spoleto Festival USA since 1977, performing both in concert and as the opera chorus.

Choir and Organ magazine reviewer Shirley Ratcliffe wrote in the May/June issue, "The programme for these young voices has been well thought out, consisting of an eclectic group of composers that range across the centuries; there isn’t one jarring note to be found in this choice of sacred and secular repertoire."

As director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College, Miller oversees an extensive choral program that includes eight ensembles. In addition to the Westminster Choir, he conducts the Westminster Symphonic Choir.

Miller earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in choral conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and voice from the University of Tennessee.

To purchase Flower of Beauty and other Westminster recordings, please visit the online store, www.westminsterchoircollege.org. Many Westminster recordings are also available for download through iTunes and most major music download sites.

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Westminster Choir’s new recording, Flower of Beauty, received critical acclaim from American Record Guide.