The renowned Westminster Choir, conducted by Joe Miller, will present a concert at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, January 17, at Central Congregational Church, Public Square, in Galesburg. The concert is presented by the Knox College Music Department and the Galesburg Community Chorus.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and free to students. Tickets may be ordered in advance at 309-342-8143 or purchased at the door.

The program, entitled “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.

More information about the concert, including an interview with Miller speaking about the program and musical examples, is available at http://www.rider.edu/wcc/events/westminster-choir-tour-galesburg-il

The concert title is taken from Britten’s “Hymn to St. Cecilia,” which he wrote to celebrate the patron saint of music. The text is drawn from the works of W.H. Auden, and each section includes the refrain “Blessed Cecilia, appear in visions to all musicians; appear and inspire.”

Other selections on the program are “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 French works, such as Claude Debussy’s “Dieu! Qu’il la fait bon regarder” and Morten Lauridsen’s “En Une Seule Fleur.”

Founded 92 years ago, 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.

The Westminster Choir 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 recording “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 many leading conductors and orchestras.

As director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College, Miller oversees an extensive choral program that features two of America’s most renowned choral ensembles: the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir. Miller’s recent residencies have included the Berlin Radio Symphony Chorus, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music and Temple University. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Miller earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in choral conducting from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.

 

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