WMU News

WMUK to broadcast World Youth Choir concert

Aug. 8, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- A recording of the World Youth Choir's Aug. 4 concert at Kalamazoo's First Presbyterian Church will air Sunday, Aug. 11, at 3 p.m. on WMUK 102.1 FM. The the public radio station's "In Concert" program with host Cara Lieurance will repeat Monday, Aug. 12, at 8 p.m.

An audience of about 800 people attended the Kalamazoo concert, which was the only Michigan performance by the 80-member international choir. Erin Cramer, an April music graduate of WMU from Coopersville, Mich., is the only representative from the United States in this year's choir, composed of singers ages 18 to 26 from some 30 countries.

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. This week, the World Youth Choir is completing its first-ever tour in the United States with performances in Minneapolis and Madison, Wis.

The 2002 choir is under the direction of internationally regarded Estonian conductor Tonu Kaljuste. Dr. Stephen Zegree, director of WMU's award-winning vocal jazz ensemble Gold Company, directed the World Youth Choir during its tour of South Africa two years ago. Zegree served as local liaison for this year's choir during its two-day visit in Kalamazoo, which included a recording session in the Dalton Center Recital Hall.

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 this past May. She has been accepted for graduate studies in vocal performance at the University of Minnesota.

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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