The Westminster Choir, conducted by Joe Miller, will celebrate its return to Princeton after its January concert tour of the Midwest with a free concert for the community on Monday, January 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall on the Princeton University campus.
The program, entitled “Appear and Inspire,” will feature classic and contemporary choral works, including three by Benjamin Britten in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The concert title is taken from Britten’s Hymn to St. Cecilia, which he wrote to celebrate the patron saint of music. A setting of texts by W. H. Auden, each section of the work includes the refrain "Blessed Cecilia/Appear in visions to all musicians/Appear and inspire."
The program includes additional challenging works that demand the highest level of expressive musicality, for which the Westminster Choir is known, including “Kyrie” from Tomas Luis de Victoria’s Missa Alma Redemptoris, Gustav Holst’s Nunc Dimittis and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit. One set will feature works either written by a French composer or the setting of a French text, such as Claude Debussy’s Dieu! Qu’il la fait bon regarder and Morten Lauridsen’s En Une Seule Fleur. A podcast of Maestro Miller speaking about the program, with musical examples, is at www.rider.edu/westminsterchoir or in the Westminster-to-Go podcast series on iTunes.
Setting the standard for choral excellence for 92 years, the Westminster Choir is composed of students at Westminster Choir College, a division of Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts, in Princeton, N.J. It has been the chorus-in-residence for the Spoleto Festival USA since 1977, performing both in concert and as the opera chorus. The choir’s debut recording with Maestro Miller, Flower of Beauty, received four stars from Choir and Organ magazine and earned critical praise from American Record Guide, which described the Westminster Choir as “the gold standard for academic choirs in America.” Praised by The New York Times for its “full-bodied, incisive singing,” the Westminster Choir also forms the core of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, which has performed and recorded with the leading conductors and orchestras of our time.
Joe Miller is conductor of two of America’s most renowned choral ensembles: the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir. As director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College, he also oversees an extensive choral program that includes eight ensembles. In demand as a guest conductor and clinician, his recent residencies have included the Berlin Radio Symphony Chorus, Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music and Temple University.
Admission to the concert is free; however tickets are required. Tickets are available through the Princeton University ticketing office at 609-258-9220 or online at www.princeton.edu/utickets.