Choir takes national stage with top schools in country

November 11, 2015

University of Redlands School of Music Chapel Singers has been chosen to perform with some of the top schools in the country at two major national conventions, continuing its long-standing tradition and reputation of musical excellence in the United States and across the globe.

Under the direction of Dr. Nicholle Andrews, the University of Redlands Chapel Singers is one of only nine top university choirs performing at the Sixth National Collegiate Choral Organization National Convention (NCCO), hosted at Portland State University Nov. 12-14, 2015.

“It humbles me that everyday I make music with some of the finest young musicians in the country,” says Andrews, who submitted audition recordings in May. “Being part of an ensemble such as Chapel Singers is a life-changing experience. Every rehearsal and performance is a new adventure.”

The Chapel Singers NCCO performance, “Music of Living Composers,” includes three works— “Sometimes I Feel Alive” I, II, III by Julian Wachner (b. 1969); “Sun” by R. Murray Schafer (b. 1933) and “A Lover’s Journey” I, II by Libby Larson (b. 1950).

“We are very fortunate to have had American composer Libby Larson at the University of Redlands as the composer in residence for our Frederick Loewe Symposium on American Music, and she worked with Chapel Singers on their performance of ‘A Lover’s Journey,’” Andrews says.

“Most composer residencies involve a small select ensemble that performs several works for a small audience,” says Andrew Glendening, dean of the School of Music. “During the Loewe Symposium, every ensemble works with the composer and performs on one of three concerts.  From top to bottom, the students in the School of Music were able to perform very complex music while clearly showing that they understood the musical elements that made each piece unique.”

In January 2016, the Chapel Singers will perform the work of songwriter Richard Sherman during a special engagement with Sherman at the University of Redlands Memorial Chapel. In February, the ensemble will travel to San Jose, California where they will perform with the top high school choral and instrumental students in the state at the California All State Music Educators Conference (CASMEC).

“The current success of the choral program is really a product of the whole curriculum coming to a sharp focus on core musical skills,” Glendening says. “With faculty working together to closely coordinate music theory, history, musicianship and performance training, our students are now equipped to do ensemble work at the highest level. We are achieving our goal of educating the whole musician.”

University of Redlands Chapel Singers is a 25-voice, auditioned chamber choir ensemble established in 1965. This year’s ensemble includes nine freshmen, six sophomores, two juniors, five seniors and three graduate students.

Chapel Singers, along with Bel Canto, MAN and University, are the four choirs for which 120 students audition each year. Every student who auditions is placed in the choir best suited to their vocal ability and musicianship skills.

Music lovers can enjoy ensemble performances on campus. Click here for performance calendar.