Arts & Culture / Mosaic / Music / January 24, 2013

Westminster Choir performs at Central Congregational Church

The Westminster Choir, part of Rider University in Princeton, N.J., performed at Central Congregational Church Thursday, Jan. 17. The performance included works by J.S. Bach, Gustav Holst, Claude Debussy, Morten Lauridsen and Benjamin Britten. (Michelle Orr/TKS)

The Westminster Choir, part of Rider University in Princeton, N.J., performed at Central Congregational Church Thursday, Jan. 17. The performance included works by J.S. Bach, Gustav Holst, Claude Debussy, Morten Lauridsen and Benjamin Britten. (Michelle Orr/TKS)

On Thursday, Jan. 17, the Galesburg community opened its doors to an evening unlike anything else. The Central Congregational Church was given an opportunity to experience the music from the elite of the elite: the Westminster Choir.

Directed by Joe Miller, the Westminster Choir travelled through Galesburg from their college hometown of Princeton, N.J. while on their Midwest Tour. Made up of 42 singers, the Westminster Choir is the most selective choir at the Westminster College of the Arts.

The evening consisted of various approaches to choral singing, beginning with classical texts: including the works of Bach and Britten, emphasizing on the literature itself.

“I enjoyed the first piece because I recognized the first piece,” sophomore Brian Tanaka said. “Classical literature is beautiful.”

The singers then brought France to the stage, complete with brightly colored scarves of red and blue to match the excitement and passion they presented in each piece.

“This was an amazing display of tons of practice,” freshman Tommy Hintz said. “You were able to see how much fun they had.”

Knox College Choir Director Laura Lane received a special gift from the choir, acknowledging her as a Westminster College alumna.

The choir seemed to engage the audience with their upbeat dancing and received a lot of laughs by the story of a cheeky French song, which included photographs of the stories displayed, and even one of Lane.

“It was really theatrical,” senior Harrison Graham said. “They had bright, shimmering qualities and should all be actors.”

The concert concluded with a more modern take on chorale singing, ranging from a mother’s lullaby to traditional spiritual song.

“The emotions displayed fit the category,” Hintz said.

Such a zealous performance would not be complete without an encore. The Westminster Choir brought in two.

“I loved how modern it was,” senior Lauren Peper said. “I was freaking out.”

With choral music being the root of Westminster College, it is no surprise what an impact their music seemed to have on the audience.

“They are extremely professional and one of the best in the world, if not the best,” Hintz said.

“They are a bunch of professional singers coming together as one unit,” Tanaka added.

Samantha Waight

Tags:  choral music music westminster choir westminster college

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  • John Baker

    We in the Princeton, NJ area are fortunate to have the Westminster Choir as a regular contributor to the cultural-musical scene in this university town where music performances are an every week staple, but the Westminster Choir always shines. But you, at Knox College, with a Westminster alum, Laura Lane, as your choral director are among the most fortunate choirs in the nation because of Ms. Lane’s Westminster background, unparalleled in choral music education. As a student at Westminster, she has sung under the batons of some of the most famous orchestra conductors in the world, and with their orchestras. What she teaches you about choral music can, with hard work, commitment and concentration take you to choral musical heights you just heard from the Westminster Choir, and perhaps, just perhaps, you’ll come to Princeton and perform for us (in the Princeton University Chapel…ask Ms. Lane about that venue where her commencement took place) during your future East Coast tour. We’ll look forward welcoming Ms. Lane back to Princeton and hearing your outstanding performance.



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