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Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir hosts fall concert

| Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Saint Mary’s College Women’s Choir will celebrate their fall concert Thursday, Nov. 20 and then travel to the Alice Tully Hall of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City on Saturday, Nov. 29.

The fall concert Thursday includes performances by the Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir, the Collegiate Choir and Bellacappella, a student a cappella group.

According to the press release, director of choral activities and the Mary Lou and Judd Leighton Chair of Music, Saint Mary’s music professor Nancy Menk will conduct at both events. The performances will feature music by Gwyneth Walker, an American composer who will attend the concerts and work with Saint Mary’s music students while on campus.

Menk is excited for her students to experience New York City, she said in a press release.

“Choirs love singing the music of American composer Gwyneth Walker for it’s beautiful lyricism, energy, and humor” Menk said according to the press release. “I’m excited for our students to experience New York City, including the Macy’s parade, at this festive time of year, and our Alice Tully Hall concert will be the icing on the cake.”

Claire Stewart, a senior in the Women’s Choir, said she is impressed by Walker’s ability to move the audience through her music.

“She has this incredible talent for capturing the emotions of the texts that she uses,” Stewart said. “She truly brings the words to life. She can take texts that I’ve heard a million times and make me feel something completely new. That is something that I find to be very special about her music.”

Distinguished Concerts International-New York will host Saint Mary’s students performance, “With Grace, the Choral Music of Gwyneth Walker,” on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Lincoln Center.

According to the press release, the concert features the women’s choir and other choirs from across the country, including two conducted by Saint Mary’s alumnae. Katherine Chmelko, ’09, conducts the choir from Nazareth Academy High School in Philadelphia and Jennifer Chester Ferguson, ’06, conducts the Colorado Women’s Chorale.

Stewart said she is excited for the incredible opportunity to sing in New York City and for the time she will have with her fellow choir members.

“Experiences like these are incredible opportunities for musical growth,” Stewart said.” “Much of my growth as a musician has come from learning alongside others who share in my passion. I think that our performance in New York will be a great opportunity to foster that level of growth. I also look forward to spending four days in New York with some of the most incredible women I know.

“I am immensely blessed to be part of a group of women who share in my love for music. Trips like these are wonderful opportunities to spend time with people that you may not get to spend as much time with outside of choir.”

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About Kiera Johnsen

A SoCal native majoring in communications and political science

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