Luther College music ensembles present 2019 Spring Oratorio concert

Luther College's music department presents the biennial Spring Oratorio concert, featuring Luther's Symphony Orchestra, Nordic Choir, Collegiate Chorale and Cathedral Choir. The performance includes Francis Poulenc's Gloria and Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms in commemoration of Bernstein's 100th birthday. The concert will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 17, in Luther's Center for Faith and Life Main Hall.

Tickets are $15 for adults,free for individuals under 18, and free for Luther College students, faculty, and staff. Tickets may be purchased online at tickets.luther.edu. Patrons may also purchase tickets through the Luther Ticket Office, telephone (563) 387-1357 or [email protected], open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9-10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Tuesday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

The performance will be conducted by Andrew Last, director of choral activities and associate professor of music. Rehearsals for the oratorio began in the fall in preparation for the 2018 Christmas at Luther performance, where the mass choir performed the first movement of the Chichester Psalms, along with second movement of the Gloria.

Primary conductors for the ensembles during spring semester of 2019 are Diego Piedra, Symphony Orchestra; Andrew Last, Nordic Choir; Jennaya Robison, Collegiate Chorale; and Mark Potvin, Cathedral Choir.

Nordic Choir, Collegiate Chorale and Cathedral Choir are Luther's three upper-class mixed choirs. Luther's choral program features students from various academic disciplines, inside and outside of the music major. As part of Luther's nationally accredited music program, Luther choirs showcase mastery and diversity in vocal repertoire, including classical works as well as music from non-western traditions.

Luther College Symphony Orchestra is Luther's largest and oldest orchestral ensemble with more than 80 student musicians. Representing a variety of academic disciplines, these students also participate in other music ensembles and opportunities on campus. In addition to regular concerts featuring masterworks of orchestral literature, Symphony Orchestra performs new music on a regular basis, including six world premieres since 2001.

Performing oratorio repertoire is part of a long tradition at Luther College. In the spring semester of alternating years, the orchestra, choral, and vocal areas collaborate in the presentation of a major work. Recent performances have included Walton’s "Belshazzar’s Feast," Mozart’s "Coronation Mass," Haydn’s "Lord Nelson Mass," Handel's "Messiah," Brahms' "Requiem," Bach’s "St. John Passion" and a commissioned work, "Luther Mass" by Stephen Paulus.

Luther is home to one of the largest collegiate music programs in the nation, with five choirs, three orchestras, three bands, two jazz bands and nearly 800 student musicians. Luther students participate in large ensembles, faculty-coached chamber groups, private lessons and master classes. More than 275 music majors study music theory, ear training, history, education, composition, jazz, church music and performance.

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