WMU News

University Chorale offers free preview of New York performances

Feb. 1, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Just as the Von Trapp children sang "So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye," in "Sound of Music," so too will the Western Michigan University Chorale sing farewell to West Michigan before embarking on a tour, which culminates with three featured performances in New York City at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association.

Last July, following a rigorous audition process, the select 36-member University Chorale accepted an invitation to perform at the convention. In preparation for its ACDA performances, the chorale will present two "farewell" concerts, both of which are free and open to the public:

Saturday, Feb. 8, in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at Western Michigan University beginning at 8:15 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 9, at Milwood United Methodist Church, 3919 Portage Road, Kalamazoo beginning at 2 p.m.

Dr. Joe Miller, conductor, says that one half of Feb. 8-9 concerts will feature the program being presented in New York, and the other half will have an identity all its own.

"Together, these two short programs will demonstrate a diverse range of styles and colors, as well as showcase the talents of the choir's members," says Miller.

The University Chorale performs throughout the United States and tours internationally every third year. During its 2002 European tour, University Chorale became the first U.S. choir to be named Grand Prize Winner of the International Robert Schumann Choral Competition. During its February 2003 tour, the ensemble will perform in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania before presenting three featured concerts at the 2003 National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in New York City. Members of the University Chorale are selected by audition from WMU's enrollment of nearly 30,000 students.

Dr. Joe Miller, now in his fourth year as director of choral studies at WMU, holds degrees from the University of Tennessee and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Previously, he was director of choral and vocal activities at California State University-Stanislaus and artistic director of the Stockton Chorale. Miller is president of Michigan's ACDA chapter and conductor of the 2003 Michigan SATB Honors Choir. Choirs under Miller's direction have appeared at the Western Division Convention of ACDA, the California Music Educators Association State Conference, and the Midwestern Music Conference.

Media contact: Kevin West, 269 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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