Tag: Paul Nesheim

Choral Concert Features Tribute to Late Lawrence Faculty Member Jennifer Fitzgerald

The American premiere of Associate Professor of Music Joanne Metcalf’s “O Shining Light,” a musical tribute to her former colleague and friend, Jennifer Fitzgerald, highlights the Lawrence University choral concert Friday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, 520 E. College Ave., Appleton. The concert is free and open to the public.

Cantala women’s choir, under the direction of conductor Phillip Swan, will perform the U.S. debut of Metcalf’s composition, which honors Fitzgerald, who taught at Lawrence first as postdoctoral fellow and then as an instructor of music before dying of cancer at the age of 32 in 2007. While at Lawrence, Fitzgerald was active in exploring new, interdisciplinary forms of composition.

“O Shining Light,” written for four women’s voices, was commissioned by the Scottish ensemble Canty. The group performed its world premiere last October at St. Machar’s Cathedral in Aberdeen and will release it on CD later this year.

In composing the tribute to Fitzgerald, Metcalf said she tried to create the impression “of a profoundly beautiful outer light, such as that of the stars, that reflects back the beauty of one’s inner light.”

The Lawrence Concert Choir and Viking Chorale, both under the direction of Paul Nesheim, also will perform. The concert choir will sing the traditional spiritual “Hold On,” William Mathias’ “Let the People Praise Thee, O God,” which was commissioned for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, as well as works by Claude Debussy and Eric Whitacre.

The Viking chorale’s program includes Aaron Copland’s “Stomp Your Foot” from his opera “The Tender Land” and the rousing chorus “Let Their Celestial Concerts All Unite” from George Handel’s “Samson.”

The concert will be webcast beginning with a pre-concert program at 7:30 p.m..

Paul Nesheim Makes Debut as Conductor of Lawrence University Choirs in Friday Concert

APPLETON, WIS. — Paul Nesheim makes his debut as the new director of the Lawrence University Concert Choir and Viking Chorale Friday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The concert also will feature Cantala women’s choir under the direction of Phillip Swan.

Paul-Nesheim_web.jpgNesheim previously spent 10 years on the faculty of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., where he directed three choirs and a led a voice studio. He replaced long-time choir director Rick Bjella, who left at the end of the last academic year to join the music program at Texas Tech University.

The season-opening concert for the Lawrence choir program will highlight works by Felix Mendelssohn in honor of the 200th anniversary of his birth, including the sacred motet “Heilig,” “There Shall a Star from Jacob Come Forth” and “Lift Thine Eyes.”

As a newcomer to the program, Nesheim said the idea of conducting a concert just three weeks into the rehearsal schedule appeared initially daunting, but excitement has since replaced anxiety.

“I am thrilled and honored to be teaching at Lawrence this year and to be working side by side with a wonderful musician and good friend, Phillip Swan,” said Nesheim. “Lawrence has such an outstanding reputation and after just the brief time I’ve had so far with these exceptionally bright, talented, determined and enthusiastic students, I have no trouble seeing why. I am confident our audience will be inspired by the work of these impressive student musicians.”

The concert also will feature the spiritual, “Ain’t Got Time to Die” by the Viking Chorale and Ben Allaway’s “Freedom Come,” a concert-closing piece performed by the Concert Choir written in the style of a South African freedom song. Works by J.S. Bach, Claude Debussy, Gwyneth Walker and Ramona Luengen also will be performed.

The concert will be webcast beginning with a pre-concert program at 7:30 p.m. at www.lawrence.edu/conservatory/webcasts/.