Westminster Choir Tours the Midwest in January

Performing classic and contemporary choral works by Britten, J.S. Bach, Elder and more.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Westminster Choir, conducted by Joe Miller, will tour the upper Midwest in January, performing in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisc.; Wayzata, Minn,; Galesburg, Ill.; Des Moines, Iowa and Cincinnati, Ohio.

The program, titled “Appear and Inspire,” will feature classic and contemporary choral works, including three by Benjamin Britten in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The concert title is taken from Britten’s Hymn to St. Cecilia, which he wrote to celebrate the patron saint of music.  A setting of texts by W. H. Auden, each section of the work includes the refrain "Blessed Cecilia/Appear in visions to all musicians/Appear and inspire." 

The program includes additional challenging works that demand the highest level of expressive musicality, for which the Westminster Choir is known, including “Kyrie” from Tomas Luis de Victoria’s Missa Alma Redemptoris, Gustav Holst’s Nunc Dimittis and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit.  One set will feature works either written by a French composer or the setting of a French text, such as Claude Debussy’s Dieu! Qu’il la fait bon regarder and Morten Lauridsen’s En Une Seule Fleur. A podcast of Maestro Miller speaking about the program, with musical examples, is at www.rider.edu/westminsterchoir or in the Westminster-to-Go podcast series on iTunes.

Setting the standard for choral excellence for 92 years, the Westminster Choir is composed of students at Westminster Choir College, a division of Rider University’s 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. The choir’s debut recording with Maestro Miller, Flower of Beauty, received four stars from Choir and Organ magazine and earned critical praise from American Record Guide, which described the Westminster Choir as “the gold standard for academic choirs in America.” Praised by The New York Times for its “full-bodied, incisive singing,” the Westminster Choir also forms the core of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, which has performed and recorded with the leading conductors and orchestras of our time. 

Joe Miller is conductor of two of America’s most renowned choral ensembles: the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir.  As director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College, he also oversees an extensive choral program that includes eight ensembles. As conductor of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Dr. Miller has collaborated with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, earning him critical praise.  After a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” with the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst, The New York Times wrote, “Joe Miller's Westminster Symphonic Choir was subtle when asked and powerful when turned loose.”

2013 Tour Schedule. 

Friday, January 11  7:30 p.m.
The Basilica of Saint Josaphat
601 W. Lincoln Avenue
Milwaukee, WI
414-902-3524
www.thebasilicafoundation.org

Saturday, January 12  7:30 p.m.
Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 
609-258-4141
overturecenter.com

Monday, January 14  7 p.m.
Wayzata Community Church
125 E. Wayzata Boulevard
Wayzata, MN 
952-473-0349
www.wayzatacommunitychurch.org

Tuesday, January 15  7 p.m.
First Christian Church
2500 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA
515-255-2183
www.fccdm.org

Thursday, January 17 7:30 p.m.
Central Congregational Church
Central Square
Galesburg, IL
309-343-5145
www.churchfromthesquare.org

Friday, January 18  7:30 p.m.
St. Peter in Chains Cathedral
8th and Plum Street
Cincinnati, OH
513-421-2222
www.stpeterinchainscathedral.org

Back to Arts & Culture