Dilworth to Conduct National Multicultural Choir for Fanshawes Pacific Song

Rollo Dilworth with University Choir

CHICAGO, IL (February 7, 2007) – For the second time in history, the Board of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) has chosen two conductors from among its thousands of members nationwide to direct the National Multicultural Honor Choir. North Park University is proud to announce that Rollo Dilworth, D.M., director of choral activities, will join Francisco Núñez from the Young People's Chorus of New York City in assuming this great honor.

Every other year, the ACDA hosts a national convention attended by thousands of its members and assembles several honor choirs. In the past these have included a Children's Choir, a Middle School Choir, and a Collegiate Choir. This year's Multicultural Choir will be comprised of 300 high school and collegiate singers selected from over 1,400 audition tapes received from across the nation.

Those selected will gather March 7-10 and, under the direction of Dilworth and Núñez, perform a culturally diverse repertoire of music at the Jackie Gleason Theatre in Miami, Fla. Pacific Songs: Chants from the Kingdom of Tonga is slated to be performed, a piece which, like Dilworth, has ties to North Park University.

Thanks in part to funding Dilworth received through a Faculty Development Grant from North Park University, world-renowned composer and ethnomusicologist David Fanshawe was commissioned to write Pacific Songs: Chants from the Kingdom of Tonga. Dilworth traveled to England to make the necessary arrangements to have this combination of three Tongan folk songs premiere at the March concert. It is Dilworth’s hope to reprise the piece at North Park University in the 07-08 academic year.

Pacific Songs is the product of Fanshawe's extensive travels and firsthand interviews in the Kingdom of Tonga in the 1970s. Its performance will entail simultaneous live choral music and a recorded solo performance by a Tonganese elder. Fanshawe, a former classmate of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, is perhaps best known for his similarly in-depth research conducted on the African continent which resulted in African Sanctus.

Dilworth's co-director for the Multicultural Honor Choir is himself an accomplished professional in the field of conducting. Dominican in heritage, Francisco Núñez is an expert in the music of Latino heritage and currently serves as both a faculty member at New York University and artistic director of the Young People's Chorus of New York City.

When asked to comment on the honor not only of co-directing the Multicultural Honor Choir but also of premiering Pacific Song, Dilworth remarks "I am honored to be chosen as co-conductor for the ACDA National Multicultural Honor Choir. I am excited by the opportunity that Mr. Núñez and I have been given to share and celebrate choral music that represents diverse cultures from around the world."