For the second time in the Gustavus Choir’s 82-year history, it has received an invitation to perform at the American Choral Directors Association North Central Division Conference. This concert by the Gustavus Choir, conducted by Dr. Gregory Aune, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, March 21 at St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines, Iowa. It is part of a three-day convention to celebrate the art of the choral performance. The highlight of each conference is the opportunity to hear performances by the selected choirs, like the Gustavus Choir, which are regarded as the best of the best in the upper-Midwest, a region including many of the finest choral ensembles in the nation.
The North Central region of the American Choral Director’s Association is the premiere organization of choral music educators and conductors from the six-state region which includes, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa. The Choir auditioned for the honor via a process that began a year ago. It first submitted an audio recording that represented three years of performances, and an audition committee, consisting of the state ACDA presidents, reviewed each ensemble in a two-tiered blind audition process. Based on this screening, a select group of choirs were invited to perform at the conference. The Gustavus Choir’s invitation to present a solo concert at the ACDA regional convention is a recognition of the artistry and quality of the Choir.
In a busy semester including the end of the Choir’s annual concert tour, a recording session and an April 27 performance with Philip Brunelle’s VocalEssence Chorus, this recognition from ACDA is special. For Andrew Kendall, junior music education major and tenor section leader from St. Cloud, Minn., the honor is “a wonderful opportunity for the Choir to share the long tradition of choral music at Gustavus and to perform for choral musicians outside of the Gustavus community. It will be great to let the choral world hear how good this program is.”
For Dr. Aune and the Gustavus Choir, this invitation from the ACDA is a validation of the countless hours of preparation by the members of current and past choirs to build a tradition of choral music excellence at Gustavus. And while they are excited about the opportunity to represent Gustavus at the convention, they are also honored to be a part of such a signature event in choral music.
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