Lux et Amor: The Music of Dan Forrest and Ola Gjeilo

Lux et Amor: The Music of Dan Forrest and Ola Gjeilo
Monday, Feb 18, 2019
7:00 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
James M. Meaders, Guest Conductor
Forrest:  LUX: The Dawn from On High​
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Gary A. Weidenaar, Guest Conductor
Ola Gjeilo, DCINY Composer-in-Residence and Pianist
The Music of Ola Gjeilo
Gjeilo: Ubi Caritas 
            Dreamweaver
            The Ground
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

The Festival Choir of Christ Church Sugar Land
Windermere Singers
Auckland Welsh Choir
Immaculate Conception Church Choir, Washington, PA
St. Ignatius Church Choir
Cantabile
Wytheville Community College Choir
Rushingbrook Singers
Buncombe Street United Methodist Church Chancel Choir
The Resonants
Central Washington University Choir
Cor de Cambra Óscar Esplá (Mutxamel, Spain)
Blundell's School Chamber Choir
Francis Howell North Knight Choir
Mt. Carmel High School's Classical and Bel Canto Ensembles
Raincross Master Chorale
Francis Howell Central Tour Choir

The Festival Choir of Christ Church Sugar Land

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R. DeAndre Johnson
R. DeAndre Johnson is the pastor of music and worship life at Christ Church Sugar Land in Sugar Land, TX. He received a B.M. in Sacred Music at Centenary College of Louisiana where he was a student conductor for the Centenary College Choir and Centenary College Camerata, directed by Dr. Will K. Andress and Dr. Julia B. Thorn, respectively. He earned a Master of Sacred Music from Southern Methodist University where he studied with Dr. Alfred Calabrese, Dr. Pamela Elrod-Huffman and Dr. C. Michael Hawn. DeAndre has been the chorus master and a frequent guest conductor of the Houston Ebony Opera Guild, a community chorus committed to the preservation and performance of classical music of the African diaspora.

The Festival Choir of Christ Church is a non-auditioned adult chorus that sings a wide variety of choral music, from late-Baroque and classical to contemporary gospel, as it leads in worship at the 10:55am Festival Service. The choir also performs major concerts at least twice a year and tours nationally and internationally every two years.

Windermere Singers

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Emily K. Tousek
Emily K. Tousek holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Mercer University (Macon, Ga) and a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville). For the past 12 years, she has taught piano, choral, and International Baccalaureate Music at Windermere Preparatory School. In her capacity as a conductor, she has also acted as the musical director and orchestra conductor for numerous theatrical productions, including "Annie," "The Wizard of Oz", and "The Sound of Music." Ms. Tousek holds professional memberships in the American Choral Directors Association and Florida Music Educators Association.

The Windermere Singers, made up of students in grades 9-12, are the top choral ensemble at Windermere Preparatory School. They perform a wide variety of repertoire that reflects the diversity of the ensemble and school population. Recent accomplishments including receiving a superior rating and 1st place ranking at the Music U.S.A. Festival, as well as performing in the premiere of the new work "Life Has Loveliness to Sell" by composer James M. Stephenson.

Auckland Welsh Choir

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Diana Williams Rhodes
Diana is a member of the N.Z Association of Teachers of Singing, is an itinerant music specialist in Auckland, and amongst her other interests is Music Director of the Auckland Welsh Choir (Cor Cymreig Auckland). As a New Zealander of Welsh heritage, Diana has been delighted to be introduced by the choir to the Welsh language through performance of traditional Welsh songs. She has always felt a special affinity for Celtic music, and in addition has continued to broaden the scope of repertoire. The result is a choir that is comfortable with a wide variety of genres.

The Auckland Welsh Choir are a community choir from New Zealand. Formed in 1998 to support the touring Welsh Rugby team we have evolved into a charitable organisation, performing concerts to raise funds for many worthwhile causes. AWC are committed to continuing the tradition of Welsh choral music while incorporating a broader range of celtic and religious repertoire.

Immaculate Conception Church Choir, Washington, PA

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Yugo Sava Ikach
Dr. Yugo Ikach is the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Washington Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he was the Director of Choirs at California University of Pennsylvania from 2007 to 2018. His University Choirs have performed and recorded in Nashville, to the White House. He has held the post of Music Director for Immaculate Conception Church in Washington, Pennsylvania since 1992. He received vocal performance degrees from the Carnegie-Mellon University, the Peabody Conservatory of Music at the Johns Hopkins University and from West Virginia University. 

The Immaculate Conception Church Choir is active not only in weekly music ministry to the parish, but throughout the Washington and Greater Pittsburgh community. They have sung annual concerts with orchestra for the past twenty-five years featuring major works from the sacred repertoire including Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Rutter’s Magnificat, Gloria and Requiem, and most recently Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living. In 2009 and 2015 they traveled to Rome having the honor of singing for two Popes (Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis).

St. Ignatius Church Choir

Teresa DuSell. M.M., has directed sacred choirs for 34 years, and currently holds the position of Director of Music at St. Ignatius Church in San Francisco, California. Teresa is a native of Michigan, having grown up in the greater Ann Arbor area and attended the Universities of Michigan and Notre Dame for her musical studies. Teresa loves serving as music minister for parish communities. She finds inspiration in performing beautiful sacred choral music that binds a community together and transcends our human condition. She directed Dan Forrest's Requiem for the Living at St. Ignatius in November 2017, and is very delighted to have her choir be a part of Dan Forrest's Lux performance in Carnegie Hall!

St. Ignatius Church Choir is comprised of a talented and diverse set of individuals serving their Jesuit parish community in San Francisco. Each year, the singers learn and perform a major Requiem choral setting for the annual Requiem Mass to mark the Feast of All Souls in early November at St. Ignatius Church. In November 2017, the choir performed the beautiful Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest for the first time, and it was received with great acclaim by all. It was the San Francisco premier of the work, and it was sung within the context of a Catholic Mass. The 2nd movement, Vanitas Vanitatum, served as the "2nd Scripture Reading" within the mass since it is not a typical movement written for a traditional Requiem Mass. The music created a transcendent experience for all who attended. The choir performed it for a second time on November 4th, 2018 due to popular demand to repeat the work. The St. Ignatius choir is honored and thrilled to have been invited to perform Dan Forrest's LUX in Carnegie Hall!

Cantabile

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Mark S. Becker
Mark S. Becker (M. Music, B. Music) has a profound love for choral music and is passionate about sharing that love with his students. His expertise and dedication are evidenced in every area of his music - as director, educator, solo and ensemble vocalist, and clinician. Currently, he is chairman of the music department and director of choirs and handbells at Forest Lake Academy where he has taught for 14 years. His ensembles are highly regarded in Central Florida and have toured throughout Florida, the Southeastern U.S., and North America.

Forest Lake Academy's Cantabile is a 30 voice select choir whose repertoire includes classical and contemporary choral literature, spirituals, hymn arrangements, and gospel music. Known for their high level of musicianship, the ensemble, composed of 9th through 12th grade students, performs in local churches, for community events, and on extended national tours. Cantabile is delighted to be returning to Carnegie Hall this season.

Wytheville Community College Choir

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Cynthia Jackson
Cynthia Jackson was named the conductor of the Wytheville Community College Choir when it was formed in August 2013. She is the first woman to conduct Jubilate Deo and LUX: The Dawn from on High by Dan Forrest. She holds a B.S. in Music with an emphasis in piano performance from Emory & Henry College and an M.A. in Music and Education from Radford University. She has done additional graduate course work at Westminster Choir College, The University of Central Oklahoma, The University of Southern Mississippi, Shenandoah University, and Virginia Tech. She has been the Music Director and Organist at First United Methodist Church in Hillsville since 1991. Cynthia has taught public school music in Roanoke County, Gloucester County and Carroll County, VA.

The Wytheville Community College Choir was established in 2013. Since then, the 45 member choir has performed several major choral compositions such as the Virginia premiere of Jubilate Deo and LUX: The Dawn From on High by Dan Forrest, Messiah by Handel, Gloria by Vivaldi, Magnificat and Gloria by John Rutter, Requiem by Mark Hayes, Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest, Dark Night of the Soul and Luminous Night of the Soul by Ola Gjeilo. The choir has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center with DCINY and Manhattan Concert Productions. They have also performed with the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra. www.wcc.vccs.edu/wcc-choir

Rushingbrook Singers

David Rasbach, a native of Johnstown, PA, currently resides in Greenville, SC, where he divides his time between composing, teaching and developing his choirs, Rushingbrook Children’s Choir and Rushingbrook Singers. Mr. Rasbach holds a Master’s Degree in Sacred Music and a Bachelor’s degree in Organ Performance. For more than thirty-four years he has had a passion for sacred music, serving as Director of Music in various churches, and he has served as a choral director and music educator at the university and pre-college levels. Mr. Rasbach is a published composer of sacred choral and instrumental music, which may be found in the catalogs of Hinshaw Music, Beckenhorst Press, Chorister’s Guild, Hope Publishing and Lorenz. Information about Mr. Rasbach’s choral music and about Rushingbrook Choirs is available at davidrasbach.com.

Rushingbrook Singers was established in 2014 as a community choir in Greenville, SC. Its original purpose was to be a continuing choral experience for children aging out of Rushingbrook Children's Choir; however, Rushingbrook Singers attracts choral lovers of all ages, who enjoy praising our Savior in spirit, in truth and song.

Buncombe Street United Methodist Church Chancel Choir

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Rosemary E. Hughes
Rosemary E. Hughes became the Director of Music and Arts for Buncombe Street UMC (Greenville, SC) in 2008. She holds a B.A. in Piano and a M. Ed. in English and Music. Rosemary has been a member of the Greenville Chorale and the Herring Chamber Ensemble for twelve years, frequently assisting with sectional rehearsals, appearing as a soloist and guest conductor for the Chorale. She and the Chancel Choir traveled to NYC in January 2016 to sing Requiem for the Living under the direction of Dr. James Meaders, and she is honored to be the mezzo-soprano soloist for this performance.

The Chancel Choir of Buncombe Street UMC (Greenville, SC) sings as part of the traditional worship services every Sunday morning. The ensemble presents major works twice a year (Advent and Lent), participates in community events and outreach, and continually strives to elevate the personal musicianship of every member. The volunteer choir is an SATB ensemble of mixed ages and experience levels and rehearses weekly. Many of the singers have been committed to the ensemble for 25 or more years, providing cohesive leadership within each section. The BSUMC Chancel Choir looks forward to this, our second concert under Dr. Meaders’ baton.

The Resonants

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Helen Swan
Helen Swan is a well known conductor and music educator in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. She studied voice at the Canberra School of Music, followed by a Diploma of Education. She has performed as a singer and conductor, singing leading roles with Canberra Opera; as a conductor she has worked with Canberra Children's Choir, Canberra Choral Society, Oriana Chorale, Canberra Youth Music Choirs, and the Resonants which she founded in 1990. After many years of classroom music teaching she now concentrates on her private singing studio, and conducting the Resonants and a U3A ladies choir, Warrani Chorale. She travels widely, attending international music workshops, adding to her experience and continuing to develop her consummate skills as a conductor.

The Resonants is a dynamic award-winning choral group that has been delighting audiences in Canberra for over 28 years. Led and inspired by Helen Swan, the choir continues to explore new repertoire. They have performed with many local and international artists including The Idea of North, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Suedes Tango and the Canberra International Music Festival. They were the ACT Winner of the 2006 ABC Classic FM Choir of the Year award, as well as winning numerous prizes in local eisteddfods. The Resonants have recorded four albums that have been played on ABC Classic FM and ArtSound FM; they include 16th to 20th century a cappella music from Australia and around the world.

Central Washington University Choir

Gary Weidenaar is in the middle of his 36th year of teaching. Since 2006, he has served as Director of Choral Studies at Central Washington University, where over 200 singers make up the four choirs which comprise CWU’s traditional choral offerings. Weidenaar’s background is broad and varied. For the first fifteen years of his career he taught at public or private schools in Michigan, Germany, Norway, and California – with nine of those years overseas. His assignments included teaching everything from 3rd-13th grade students. He holds degrees from Western Michigan and Michigan State Universities and earned his doctorate at the University of Kansas in 2002. While studying at KU, Gary sang on this stage under his then-professor Simon Carrington (of King Singers fame) in a DCINY concert! Dr. Weidenaar spends a great deal of time with directors and/or choirs of all levels. He has presented workshops to music educators throughout the US; as well as in Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, and Germany. He has adjudicated, served as clinician, or conducted over 1,700 choirs since 2002. His Chamber Choir has collaborated with Ola Gjeilo on four separate recording sessions, which have yielded 11 multi-camera YouTube videos of the composer’s music.
Choral music thrives at CWU, with four traditional choirs and three jazz-vocal ensembles offered quarterly. The groups, totaling over 200 singers, provide a wide variety of quality choral repertoire, singing to thousands of audience members annually. Composer Ola Gjeilo has visited the CWU campus 4 times over the past decade. Each time, the CWU Chamber Choir has recorded videos designed for Youtube. The 12 videos have over 2 million views. More than 40% of the music educators in the state of Washington are graduates of CWU. We are proud of the fact that both performance and education are high priorities.

Cor de Cambra Óscar Esplá (Mutxamel, Spain)

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Luis Seguí
Extensive musical training in Spain, Holland, England and the United States for more than 20 years and the achievement of four Higher Degrees in Piano, Percussion, Composition and Orchestral Conducting, as well as 10 years of professional experience as a freelance instrumentalist and conductor in diverse ensembles, makes Luis Seguí a multifaceted musician. He’s been appointed recently as music director and pianist of the Stage Choir at Teatro Principal de Alicante, and he is in charge of several other groups including instrumental ensembles and choirs. Luis Seguí is a recipient of the Fulbright scholarship to study at Berklee College in Boston.

Óscar Esplà Chamber Choir was founded in 2014 under the baton of Mr. Albert Alcaraz, a renowned Valencian musician. This group of singers, directors and experienced musicians from all over Spain was constituted as an interdependent association in Mutxamel (Alicante) and since then carries out a great project, l'escola Coral de l'Alacantí, whose main objective is to spread the vocal music and welcome all those who want to enjoy interpreting it. He has taken his music throughout Alicante province with a repertoire that ranges from ancient to contemporary music. Presently Mr. Luis Seguí directs the choir.

Blundell's School Chamber Choir

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Dr Oliver Leaman
Dr Oliver Leaman BMus (Hons), Prix, PhD Oliver studied Music at the University of Edinburgh where he won the Tovey Memorial Prize for Musical Performance. While at university Oliver worked with the organisation Warchild in Bosnia Herzegovina, working with children suffering from trauma caused by the Balkan war. He completed a Masters in saxophone performance at the Montréal Conservatoire of Music. Appointed as Composition Professor at Trinity College of Music, London in 2003, his PhD in pedagogic composition was awarded in June 2011. He is also a published author of analysis of symphonic works for Naxos.

The Blundell’s School Chamber Choir is one of the finest groups of young singers in Britain, reaching the finals of the 2017 National Choral Competition. They sing weekly services in the School Chapel, performing a wide range of music from the Anglican and Continental choral traditions. The Choir also regularly performs in some of the most prestigious venues in the South West region, including Exeter, Wells, Truro and Gloucester Cathedrals, Bath Abbey, and St George's, Bristol. The choir tours annually, most recently in Budapest, Tuscany, Venice, Barcelona and Vienna, singing both concerts and services.

Francis Howell North Knight Choir

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Jennifer Crane
Jennifer Crane is Director of Vocal Music at Francis Howell North High School in St. Peters, Missouri. Currently in her third year of teaching and second at North, she conducts four ensembles. Ms. Crane obtained a BA Music with K-12 Certification degree from Lindenwood University where she received the Supero Asperum Award. While there she served as Assistant Director of the 2015-2016 Concert Choir and Assistant Music Director of “Legally Blonde.” Ms. Crane is a member of the American Choral Directors Association (Missouri), and the National Association for Music Educators. She resides in O’Fallon, Missouri with her husband four children.

The Francis Howell North Choir is a nationally recognized choral program from St. Peters, Missouri. Over the past 10 years it has received numerous honors at Heritage Festivals across the United States including Anaheim, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville, and San Diego. The program consistently earns Exemplary ratings at the Missouri State High School Activities Association Large Ensemble Contest, and the advanced mixed chamber choir, KnightSound, received Superior ratings and Best in Class at Festival Disney in the past two years. The choir actively performs in the community with the St. Charles County Youth Orchestra at venues such as the J. Scheidegger Center.

Mt. Carmel High School's Classical and Bel Canto Ensembles

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Marti Martinez
Marti Martinez received her B.A. in Music Education from San Diego State University and followed that up with a M.A. in Education. She has been teaching choral music since 1991, including twelve years at Meadowbrook Middle School and the last at Mt. Carmel High School, where she has directed numerous top award-winning choirs throughout the years. Mrs. Martinez has been a member of the San Diego Opera Company, the alto soloist for the First Presbyterian Church of San Diego, and is an active soloist for performances in the San Diego area. Besides teaching, Mrs. Martinez keeps busy with her three sons and husband of 22 years.

Classical Ensemble and Bel Canto are the top two choirs at Mt. Carmel High School. Their reputation for excellence includes performances at Carnegie Hall, the California ACDA convention, the Golden State Festival at UCLA, the Holiday Bowl in San Diego and Disneyland's Candlelight Procession and Ceremony. In 2003, the music department was recognized by the Grammy Foundation as the number three program in the United States, followed by another Grammy in 2005 and 2008. Both Classical Ensemble and Bel Canto have traveled the United States extensively receiving superior ratings at CMEA, ACDA, and SCVA festivals.

Raincross Master Chorale

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William Brakemeyer
William Brakemeyer has led the Raincross Master Chorale since September, 2014. He holds a B.A. from Cal State Northridge and an M.A. from Cal State San Bernardino. Bill retired after 36 years in public education and has been organist at First United Methodist Church, Redlands for more than 23 years. He sings with the Inland Master Chorale, is a past dean of the American Guild of Organists, Inland Empire Chapter, and a board member of the National Association of Church Musicians. He is an accomplished conductor, organist, composer and arranger and singer.

The Raincross Master Chorale presents the best of choral literature, ranging from the classics to spirituals, folk songs, and Broadway musicals. Concerts are in October, December, February and May. The February concert is the “Evensong” during the Dickens Festival in Riverside, Calif. All proceeds from the concerts support vocal scholarships to be given to promising college music majors, based on audition. Scholarships are $1,000 per year and may be renewable for a total of four years, depending upon academic standing and date of graduation. The chorale currently has 60 singers.

Francis Howell Central Tour Choir

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Elisabeth Baird
Elisabeth Baird is the Director for all the vocal music classes in the Francis Howell Central Vocal Music Department. Mrs. Baird has been teaching in the Francis Howell School district since 2008 and has been at FHC since 2011. She currently holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Music Education from University of Missouri-St. Louis. She and her incredibly supportive husband, Eddie, currently live in O’Fallon, Missouri.

The Francis Howell Central Tour Choir travels every two years to display their talents across the country including performances in Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles. These 37 dedicated singers represent a small portion of the 175 students in the vocal program at Francis Howell Central High School in St. Charles Missouri. This ensemble, formed of students from three different classes, have devoted countless hours of rehearsal time outside of class to prepare today's music at their first New York performance.