School Spotlight: American Choral Directors of Minnesota Men's and Women's Choir Festival 2013

by Claire Philpott, Minnesota Public Radio
February 4, 2014

St. Paul, Minn. — School Spotlight highlights outstanding Minnesota school- and student-music ensembles during the academic year. Through this feature, Classical MPR hopes to expose listeners to the great music being made by young musicians across the state, and to generate more support for music education.

Today's feature audio comes from the 2013 American Choral Directors Assocation of Minnesota (ACDA-MN) Fall Festival at Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minn.

  • 7:15 a.m. — Felix Mendelssohn: Ich wollt meine Lieb'. The Collegiate and High School Women's Massed Choir directed by Patricia Connors (Saint Catherine University), and accompanied by Lisa Foland.
  • 7:15 p.m. — African-American Spiritual arranged by André Thomas: Goin' Up to Glory. The Collegiate and High School Men's Massed Choir directed by Timothy Sawyer (University of Northwestern),and accompanied by Lawrence Henry.

The annual ACDA-MN Fall Festival celebrated its 24th year in October 2013. According to Executive Director, Bruce Becker, "The mission of this annual program is to provide a collaborative educational setting that promotes an opportunity for students from secondary and post-secondary schools to sing men's and women's literature under the direction of accomplished Minnesota choral directors."

This gathering of young choral enthusiasts features up to 1,000 high school and college students from 50 institutions across the state of Minnesota. Since the beginning, more than 20,000 students have sung in the festival under many different fine conductors selected from the participating colleges.

Each year, the repertoire is selected by a committee of both high school and collegiate conductors, and represents a broad yet accessible balance of classical choral music for both men's and women's choirs. In 2012, composer Carolyn Jennings of Northfield, Minn., composed a piece titled "Some Glad Day" to be premiered by a select ensemble of high school women.

A 25th-anniversary celebration is being planned for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, at the Abbey Church of Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minn.

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