Notes and Phrases

Recent Posts

Early Christmas present

As you may know, the composer for the 2017 Ketterling Carol is Daniel Kallman. As you may not know, the delivery date for his Christmas "present" is this weekend. So even as we type and read, Dan is putting the finishing touches on his version of the Wexford Carol ("Good people all, this Christmas time, consider well and bear in mind..."). Composers have a weird out-of-sync experience as an occupational hazard: they are usually looking for just the right Christmas sonority while it's 90 degrees outside, and they often find themselves creating buoyant, sunny celebrations of spring in coldest, darkest January. It's always a joy to receive a new commission, written specifically for Choral Art

Remembering Weston

When I opened my mailbox yesterday, I found Weston Noble staring benignly up at me from the cover of Choral Journal magazine. Weston died last December at the ripe old age of 94, and has been celebrated in numerous and far-flung concerts and services in the past year, and now that the American Choral Directors Association has weighed in, I'll add my two cents. As many of you know, Weston--a lightly-experienced 25-yr-old recent grad--was asked to conduct the Luther College Concert Band and Nordic Choir in 1948 for a one-year interim while a national search was conducted. He would jokingly refer to it as the longest year of his life, since he stayed on with his beloved Nordic Choir for 57 yea

Sometimes things just fall into place

We were contacted this past summer by Matt Camrud, a former CAE Board member and highly accomplished pianist. His beloved mother, Cynthia Larson, passed away last February, and he wanted to explore ways of celebrating her life. Since she, too, loved choral music, Matt wondered if a new commission might be undertaken in her honor. As the possibilities and timings were sifted, we decided to ask Jeffrey Van if he might have time, in spite of rather short notice, to create a work for our March concert. It turns out, in spite of Jeff's dauntingly full schedule in "retirement," he did. After reading Cynthia's obituary, sent by Matt, Jeffrey responded enthusiastically: "What an eminently worthw

And who is my neighbor?

As we prepare this first concert, we will happily spend more than a little time polishing Benjamin Britten's CANTATA MISERICORDIUM, a small masterwork written in 1963. Britten's librettist, Patrick Wilkinson, expanded and dramatized the great parable, from Luke 10, of the Good Samaritan. Britten, great opera composer that he was, seized the opportunities presented from this text, and created a gorgeous, vivid, ultimately uplifting work. Like many sophisticated compositions, the subtleties of expression can be elusive on first hearing, and multiple exposures inevitably deepen appreciation. Since we want you to savor every artistic detail (and there are so many in this 20-minute work!), I'll

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1001  14th St NW

Rochester, MN 55901

Phone: (507) 252-8427


Office Hours:  Monday - Thursday  9:00 - 2:00

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support Grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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