North Park University Choir and Chamber Singers to Visit Pacific Northwest

North Park University Choir
North Park's University Choir and Chamber Singers perform throughout the year under the direction of Dr. Julia Davids.

Singers to bring classical and contemporary works to Covenant Congregations over Spring Break

CHICAGO (March 4, 2016) — Today, North Park University students, faculty, and staff are putting the final touches on months of choral preparation. Next weekend, they’ll be in the Pacific Northwest, nearly 2000 miles away from campus, on a five-city tour over the course of four days.

North Park's University Choir and Chamber Singers will tour the Pacific Northwest over spring break, March 12­–15. Forty-one students, from undergraduate and graduate music programs, in addition to several non-music majors or minors, will make stops at six Evangelical Covenant Church congregations and a Covenant retirement community in Portland, Ore.; Mercer Island, Wash.; Seattle, Wash.; Mount Vernon, Wash.; and Bellevue, Wash.

The tour, titled “Be the Light,” will feature a diverse array of both classical and contemporary sacred and secular works from composers including Ivo Antognini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, René Clausen, Keith Hampton, Don Macdonald, Edwin Fissinger, Johann Sebastian Bach, James MacMillan, Anders Edenroth, Frank Ticheli, and Larry L. Fleming.

“I purposely selected varied works that creatively explore the concept of light—through the music and lyrics and overall affect,” explained Dr. Julia Davids, North Park University's director of choral activities and Stephen J. Hendrickson Associate Professor of Music.

“The Chamber Singers will perform a 'Real Group' arrangement of Swedish and Finnish folk songs that nod to our school’s unique heritage,” Davids added.

In the spirit of North Park’s vision to be a "campus without borders," the tour complements student musicians’ formal training with experiential learning and real-world performances.

“I get to experience what it means to be a committed choral member and musician," says senior vocal performance major Emily Swearer. "Choir tours mean singing under pressure, when you may not be feeling your best, when you have a million other things you need to do, and singing beautifully and intentionally anyway. It means being in close quarters with the same people for several days and choosing to work together, despite frustrations or fatigue, to make beautiful music."

The tour also provides an opportunity to see the world beyond Chicago and build relationships with choirmates and faculty. Students room with local families during the tour and enjoy bonding during the bus rides between destinations.

“With my family and church family so far away, they never get to see me perform with the North Park choirs—I can't wait to look out into the crowd and see their faces,” Swearer says. “This is my last year at North Park, and it's also possibly my last choir tour ever. To have the end of such an influential chapter of my life close at home, is like coming full circle. I'm thankful."

School of Music touring ensembles regularly visit parts of the country where there are concentrations of University alumni and ECC congregations.

“I always enjoy seeing students grow and meet the challenges we’ve given them,” said Davids. “It’s also a pleasure to serve as an ambassador for the University.”

All performances are free and open to the public:

  • Saturday, March 12, 6:30 pm, at Evergreen Covenant Church, Mercer Island, Wash.
  • Sunday, March 13, 11:00 am, at First Covenant Church, Seattle, Wash.
  • Sunday, March 13, 7:00 pm, at Bethany Covenant Church, Mount Vernon, Wash.
  • Monday, March 14, 7:00 pm, at Milwaukie Covenant Church, Portland, Ore.
  • Tuesday, March 15, 7:00 pm, at Highland Covenant Church, Bellevue, Wash.

Additional details are available online.

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