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History of the Westminster Summer Choral Festival

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When Joseph Flummerfelt arrived at Westminster Choir College in 1971, he was approached by Dean Charles Schisler about expanding a modest summer gathering that he had established. Schisler knew of Flummerfelt’s friendship with Robert Shaw and asked that Shaw be invited as the guest conductor. Flummerfelt had previously collaborated with Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony while he served as the Director of Choral Activities at Florida State University. The inaugural Summer Choral Festival of 1972 culminated in a performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the historic Riverside Church in Manhattan with 200 singers. Shaw originally planned to spend only one or two summers at the festival, however he remained the featured guest conductor for eleven consecutive years.

In 1974 the festival performance of Mozart’s C Minor Mass and Handel’s Israel in Egypt took place as part of the Mostly Mozart festival based in New York City. This led to several performances at this festival over the years. As the Summer Choral Festival continued to evolve, Flummerfelt rehearsed the choir in the beginning and Shaw would join later on. Later festivals featured other guest conductors such as Andrew Megill, Dale Warland, and David Willcocks. Upon his arrival at Westminster in 2006, Joe Miller continued the tradition of the choral festival and incorporated scholarly lectures and conducting master classes in addition to studying major works.

Today, the Westminster Summer Choral Festival continues to support Westminster Choir College’s role as a leader in the world of choral music. The festival explores masterworks of the choral repertory by means of study, collaboration, and performance. It allows musicians from across the world to experience the unique culture and atmosphere that characterize Westminster Choir College.


Performances

1972
Bach: St. Matthew Passion
Riverside Church, New York
Robert Shaw, conductor

1973
Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem
Haydn: Creation
Temple University Music Festival
Robert Shaw, conductor

1974
Mozart: C Minor Mass
Handel: Israel In Egypt
Mostly Mozart Festival

Verdi: Te Deum
Verdi: Requiem
Temple University Music Festival
Robert Shaw, conductor

1975
Bach: St. John Passion
Princeton University Chapel

Beethoven: Missa Solemnis
Mostly Mozart Festival
Robert Shaw, conductor

1976
Handel: Messiah
Princeton University Chapel

Bach: Jesu Meine Freude
Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms
Walton: Belshazzar’s Feast
Temple University Music Festival
Robert Shaw, conductor

1977
Mozart: Requiem
Schubert: Mass in G
Robert Shaw, conductor

1978
Brahms: Requiem; Nänie
Avery Fisher Hall

Mendelssohn: Elijah
Temple University Music Festival
Robert Shaw, conductor

1979
Berlioz: Requiem
Princeton University Chapel
Robert Shaw, conductor

1980
Verdi: Four Sacred Songs
Bernstein: Chichester Psalms
Temple University Festival

Haydn: Creation
Mostly Mozart Festival
Robert Shaw, conductor

1982
Fauré: Requiem
Duruflé: Requiem
Princeton University Chapel
Robert Shaw, conductor

1983
Bach: The Passion According to St. John
Princeton University Chapel
Robert Shaw, conductor

1984
Haydn: Mass in a Time of War
Mozart: Requiem
Mostly Mozart Festival
David Willcocks, conductor

1986
"Four Landmarks of Twentieth Century Choral Music"
Schönberg: Friede auf Erden
Poulenc: Mass in G
Copland: In the Beginning
Hindemith: Apparebit repentina dies
Robert Shaw, Joseph Flummerfelt, conductors

1987
"An Evening of Choral Works by Johan Sebastian Bach"
Nun ist das Heil
Ein feste Burg
Christ lag in Todesbanden
Magnificat
Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University
Robert Shaw, conductor

1991
Fauré: Requiem, Op. 48
Duruflé: Requiem, Op. 9
Princeton University Chapel
Joseph Flummerfelt, conductor

1994
Frank Martin: Messe pour double choeur a cappella
Duruflé: Requiem
Princeton University Chapel
Dale Warland, conductor

1995
"Schubert Choral Festival"
Schubert: Mass in G, D. 167
Schubert: Mass in Eb, D. 950
Princeton University Chapel

1997
Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K. 626
Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem
Princeton University Chapel
Allen Crowell, conductor

1998
Fauré: Requiem, Op. 48
Beethoven: Mass in C, Op. 86
Princeton University Chapel
Joseph Flummerfelt, conductor

2004
Britten: Cantata Misericordium
Mozart: Requiem, K. 626
Bristol Chapel, Westminster Choir College
Joseph Flummerfelt, conductor

2005
"Bach Festival 2005"
J.S. Bach: Ascension Oratorio
Cantatas for the Feast of Pentecost
BWV 172 Erschalbt, ihr Lieder, erhlinget, ihr Saiten!
BWV 59 Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten I
BWV 74 Wer mich liebet, der wird meir Wort halten II
BWV 34 O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe
Miller Chapel, Princeton Theological Seminary
Andrew Megill, conductor

2006
Bach Festival 2006: Bach on Trial
Christoph Graupner: Aus der Tiefen rufen wir
Georg Philip Telemann: Du aber, Daniel, gehe hin
G. P.Telemann: Ach Herr, strafe mich nicht
J.S. Bach: Jesus nahm zu sich den Zwölfe
J.S. Bach: Du wahren Gott, und Davids Sohn (BWV 23)
Miller Chapel, Princeton Theological Seminary
Andrew Megill, conductor

2007
Palestrina: Missa: Sicut lilium inter spinas
Guillaume Dufay: Nuper rosarum flores
Heinrich Isaac: Quis dabit capiti meo aquam?
Morten Lauridsen: Six Fire Songs on Italian Renaissance Poems
American Episcopal church, Florence, Italy
Santa Maria Del Fiori, Florence, Italy
Joe Miller, conductor

2008
Josquin: Missa Pange Lingua
Josquin: La Déploration de Johannes Ockeghem
Robert William Vuichard: De Camera Obscura de Jan van Eyck
William Hawley: Madrigali
American Episcopal Church, Florence, Italy
British Consulate, Florence, Italy
Joe Miller, conductor

2009
Handel: Dixit Dominus
Bristol Chapel, Westminster Choir College
Joe Miller, conductor

2010
Lang: Little March Girl Passion
Mozart: Requiem
Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University
Joe Miller, conductor

2011
Duruflé: Requiem
Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University
Joe Miller, conductor

2012
Bach: B minor Mass
Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University
Joe Miller, conductor

2013
Argento: I Hate and I Love
Handel: Israel in Egypt
Bristol Chapel, Westminster Choir College
Joe Miller, conductor

2014
Tallis: Spem in Alium
Martin: Mass for Double Choir
St. Ignatius of Antioch, New York
Joe Miller, conductor

2015
Josquin: Missa Pange Lingua
Palestrina: Stabat Mater
St. Ignatius of Antioch, New York
Joe Miller, conductor

Haydn: Lord Nelson Mass
Beethoven: Hallelujah (from Christ on the Mount of Olives)
Brahms: Schicksalslied
Bach: Dona Nobis Pacem
Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University
Joe Miller, conductor

2016
Bach: Motets
St. Paul of the Apostle, New York
Joe Miller, Conductor

2017
Monteverdi: Vespers of 1610
Piffaro: The Renaissance Band
Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
Miller Chapel, Princeton Theological Seminary
Joe Miller, Conductor