A Baltic Journey Chorale Concert

A Baltic Chorale Journey_HSA Baltic Journey Chorale Concert

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
7:00 pm | Sanctuary

Experience firsthand a once-in-a-lifetime combination of world-renowned talent as Ēriks Ešenvalds and Z. Randall Stroope make an unprecedented First Church appearance to work with four award-winning area high school choirs, culminating in an evening concert with the OSU Concert Chorale.

On October 20, FUMCFW will host the amazing combined talents of two major, award-winning international composers, Ēriks Ešenvalds and Z. Randall Stroope. This event, free and open to the public, will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear exquisite choral music from two world-renown composers sung by award-winning DFW high school choirs and the OSU Concert Chorale. In addition, our Paup Sanctuary Pipe Organ will be featured during the concert on Ēriks Ešenvalds “Trinity Te Deum,” accompanied by Peggy Graff, organist and Associate Director of Music Ministries at FUMCFW.

Ēriks EšenvaldsĒriks Ešenvalds is one of the most sought-after choral composers working today, he was “The Year’s New-Composer Discovery” of the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2010, the same year he was nominated for the British Composer Award. CDs of his original work have work have won numerous national awards in his native Latvia, including the Latvian Great Music Prize (2005 & 2007), The International Rostrum of Composers first prize for The Legend of the Walled-in Woman (2006), and In 2011 the Kamēr Youth Choir’s CD O Salutaris featuring choral music exclusively by Ēriks Ešenvalds won the Latvian Music Records Award as the best academic music album of the year. . In 2014 the State Choir “Latvija”‘s CD At the Foot of the Sky featuring choral music exclusively by Ēriks Ešenvalds won the Latvian Music Records Award. He was made Laureate of the Copyright Award in 2006 and in 2011.

Today the original work of Ēriks Ešenvalds is heard and performed by choirs on every continent to tremendous critical acclaim. HIs compositions have been premiered by ensembles including the Britten Sinfonia, the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, the Holst Singers and Imogen Heap, Polyphony, the Choir of Merton College Oxford, the Latvian Radio Choir, the State Choir “Latvija”, the Kamēr Youth Choir, Sinfonietta Rīga, the Bavarian Radio Choir, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands National Children’s Choir, the Swedish Art Vocal Ensemble, Salt Lake Vocal Artists, Temple University Philadelphia, The Crossing, Portland State University Chamber Choir, the Choir of the West at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, and The University of Louisville Cardinal Singers, and The University of Mississippi Concert Singers.

Ēriks Ešenvalds compositions have been premiered by ensembles including the Britten Sinfonia, the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, the Holst Singers and Imogen Heap, Polyphony, the Choir of Merton College Oxford, the Latvian Radio Choir, the State Choir “Latvija”, the Kamēr Youth Choir, Sinfonietta Rīga, the Bavarian Radio Choir, the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra, the Netherlands National Children’s Choir, the Swedish Art Vocal Ensemble, Salt Lake Vocal Artists, Temple University Philadelphia, The Crossing, Portland State University Chamber Choir, the Choir of the West at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, and The University of Louisville Cardinal Singers, and The University of Mississippi Concert Singers. In 2007 the Latvian National Opera staged his first opera Joseph is a Fruitful Bough.

Born in Riga in 1977, Ēriks Ešenvalds studied at the Latvian Baptist Theological Seminary (1995-97) before obtaining his Masters degree in composition (2004) from the Latvian Academy of Music under the tutelage of Selga Mence. From 2002-2011 he was a member of the State Choir “Latvija,” and in 2011 he was awarded the two-year position of Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge University. Ešenvalds is married and has four children.

Randall StroopeZ. Randall Stroope is an American composer, conductor and lecturer who directs Choral and Vocal studies at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. His numerous prestigious awards include Distinguished Professor of Creative and Scholarly Research (1995–2001), the Douglas R. McEwen Award for National Choral Excellence, Nebraska Choral Director of the Year, Doug and Nickie Burns Endowed Chair in Choral Music (2013), and one of five Oklahoma State University Distinguished Professors (2013–2014), as well as several composition awards.

As a guest conductor, Stroope has directed 38 all-state choirs, and conducted music festivals in 45 states. He has directed 12 summer international music festivals in England, Germany and Italy. He has had recent conducting engagements at the Sopra Minerva (Rome), American School in Singapore, Canterbury Cathedral (England), Berliner Dom (Germany), Salzburger Dom (Austria), Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and National Presbyterian Cathedral (Washington, D.C.), Carnegie Hall (New York), and five performances at the Vatican in the past four years. He is also the Artistic Director for two summer music festivals in Europe.

Of his 125 publisher works, Stroope’s shorter choral works have sold more than three million copies. He has also published many very popular Extended and instrumental works has he has conducted and produced 28 YouTube recordings of his works.

In his 2009 book Choral Repertoire (2009), author Dennis Schrock recognizes Stroope for his compositional output and quality of writing, noting several works that have entered the mainstream of the choral medium. In addition to directing the OSU ensemble’s seven-concert season each year, Stroope’s works have been recorded or performed by prestigious ensembles nationally and internationally, including the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Luther Nordic Choir, University of Miami Frost Chorale, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, Concordia Choir, Oklahoma State University, Prairie Voices (Canada), Oriana Women’s Choir, United States Navy Sea Chanters, Grex Vocalis, NOVA, Bella Voce, Turtle Creek Chorale, Westminster Choir College and University of British Columbia. Stroope’s We Beheld Once Again the Stars was recently performed by the Philippine Madrigal Singers in their win of the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing. Stroope’s Revelation (watch the video) was performed by the Ehwa Chamber Choir (South Korea).

Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Stroope completed a Master of Music (Voice Performance) degree at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Doctor of Musical Arts (Choral Conducting) degree at Arizona State University. He did post graduate work with Margaret Hillis, Chorus Master of the Chicago Symphony. As a recipient of the Australian-American Fulbright, he has also done work in Western Australia. He and his wife, Cheryl (a junior high choral teacher), love to travel and spend time with their sheltie.

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