WMU News

Recent music graduate tours with World Youth Choir

Aug. 1, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- April music graduate Erin Cramer is the only representative from the United States selected for the 80-member World Youth Choir, which is touring the Midwest and will visit Kalamazoo Aug. 4-5 for its only performance in Michigan.

Composed of singers ages 18 to 26 from some 30 countries, the choir will present a free concert Sunday, Aug. 4, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 321 W. South St., Kalamazoo.

The World Youth Choir's Kalamazoo concert will be recorded for later broadcast on "In Concert," a program of performances by local and visiting artists produced by public radio station WMUK 102.1 FM. Broadcasts are scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 11, at 3 p.m. and Monday, Aug. 12, at 8 p.m. with "In Concert" host Cara Lieurance.

On Monday, Aug. 5, the choir will record an audio CD in the Dalton Center Recital Hall on the WMU campus. Choir members will stay with host families in Kalamazoo on Sunday and Monday night.

Each singer selected for the World Youth Choir goes through a highly competitive audition process, with the final selections made by an international jury of choral experts. Each summer, the choir meets in a different host country for two weeks of intense rehearsals on new choral literature. The choir then tours within the host country and sometimes neighboring countries. Under the direction of the internationally regarded Estonian conductor Tonu Kaljuste this year's choir will perform in Chicago, Kalamazoo, Minneapolis and Madison, Wis.

Erin Cramer was also one of four Americans selected by audition for last year's World Youth Choir, which practiced and performed in Venezuela in 2001. "Unfortunately," says Cramer, "I had to have a tonsillectomy last summer, and I had to withdraw from the choir."

The disappointment of missing last year's tour in Venezuela coupled with the opportunity to perform this year in front of friends and family made qualifying again in 2002 very special, Cramer says.

While a student at WMU, Cramer was a five-year member of the University Chorale, which earned the grand prize at the International Robert Schumann Choral Competition in Germany in May. She was also a member of Westersingers, a student-organized chamber ensemble, and performed as a chorus singer in two WMU musical theatre productions.

Cramer has been accepted for graduate studies in vocal performance at the University of Minnesota. She is the daughter of Ann and Dale Cramer of Coopersville, Mich.

The World Youth Choir operates under the official patronage of the Jeunesses Musicales International and the International Federation for Choral Music.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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