The voices of two Lawrence University choirs will be showcased Friday, March 3 on the stage of the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha, Neb., as part of the North Central — American Choral Directors Association division convention.
Only five college-level choirs were selected for the convention and Lawrence pulled off a rare double invitation by having both its Concert Choir and Women’s Choir chosen to perform. The ACDA North Central division includes institutions in a six-state area — Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota and Nebraska.
Choirs are chosen by a review committee through a blind audition tape process. The audition CDs submitted feature “live” concert performances from the previous three years. Joining Lawrence as college division performers will be the Dordt College Choir, Concordia University A Cappella Choir and the Minnesota State University – Mankato Concert Choir.
“Only the best auditions are chosen to perform at the convention, so for Lawrence to have two of the five college choir ensembles selected is really quite an honor,” said Phillip Swan, conductor of the women’s choir.
The Lawrence Concert Choir, under the direction of Richard Bjella, will perform at 9:35 Friday morning, while Swan’s Women’s Choir will take the stage at 1:30 p.m. The Concert Choir was selected for the honor of performing the ACDA’s prestigious Raymond Brock Commission Composition, which was composed by Mack Wilberg, the associate director of the Morman Tabernacle Choir.
The Women’s Choir will perform a program entitled “In Praise of…” that will feature three distinct sections: “In Praise of the Sacred,” “In Praise of Music” and “In Praise of Cultural Diversity,” which will include compositions from Venezuella, Czechoslovokia and the United States.
Founded in 1959, the American Choral Directors Association is composed of more than 20,000 choral musicians from schools, colleges, and universities, industry and institutional organizations, places of worship and community and professional choirs representing all 50 states.