05/25/2017

The Westminster Choir celebrates its 41st season as the chorus-in-residence at the renowned Spoleto Festival USA with a series of concerts under the direction of Joe Miller and performances in two operas.

Concerts on May 29 and June 3 reprise the ensemble’s 2017 tour program “A Thousand Years to Live,” featuring works by American composers Dominick DiOrio, Kile Smith, and Paul Crabtree, as well as Brahms’s Three Songs, op. 42 for a cappella choir, Uģis Prauliņš’s Laudibus in Sanctis, and music from the Sacred Harp and Ring Shout traditions.

The ensemble will also perform in the Spoleto Festival’s Gala Celebration concert on May 30.  On Tuesday, June 6 it will join with the Charleston Symphony Chorus to perform Mozart’s Mass in C with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra conducted by Joe Miller.

Choir members will also appear in multiple performances of two operas during the festival: Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Vivaldi’s Farnace.

Hailed by Charleston’s Post and Courier as “a crucial and consistent linchpin,” the Westminster Choir has been the chorus-in-residence for the Spoleto Festival USA, considered to be one of the nation’s premier summer arts festivals, since 1977.  It was also the chorus-in-residence for the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, for 23 years.  Its performance of John Adams’ El Niño, conducted by Joe Miller, at the 2014 Festival was praised by The New York Times as “… superb. Meticulously prepared, the chorus was remarkable for its precision, unanimity and power.”

In addition to serving as the Westminster Choir’s conductor, Joe Miller is the director of choral activities for Westminster Choir College and the Spoleto Festival USA.  The Post and Courier wrote about his 2015 performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, “This was an evening of near-flawless execution and many moments of ravishing beauty and power. It will go down as a highlight (maybe even THE highlight) of this year’s festival, and, I think, as the work with which Joe Miller established his credentials to lead an extended choral/orchestral masterwork, not just recreating Bach’s music but also putting his own interpretive stamp on the whole.”

The Festival doesn’t complete the Choir’s current season.  In July it will travel to Spain, where the Westminster Choir has been invited to perform at the World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona.