TACOMA, Wash. – The beauty of music and the wonder of nature will both feature large in this year’s Adelphian Concert Choir spring tour, which will take the acclaimed student ensemble up the West Coast and on into Canada.
University of Puget Sound’s long-standing choral ensemble will give free public concerts in Puyallup and Bellingham in Washington state, and in Victoria, British Columbia, before returning home to Tacoma, where friends and neighbors regularly stream in to hear its concerts.
“One of the featured pieces will be Jake Runestad’s Come to the Woods, a new piece based on texts by the famous naturalist John Muir,” said the Adelphians’ conductor, Steven Zopfi. “It speaks to the beauty of nature, which could not be more appropriate for our Northwest tour
“The concert also features music composed for a cathedral, music from around the world, and works from two contemporary Canadian composers: Stephen Chatman and Sid Robinovitch.”
The concert in Victoria will take place at Christ Church Cathedral, a magnificent Anglican gothic cathedral, for which Winston Churchill laid a stone in 1929. Zopfi says the acoustics in the cathedral are “fantastic,” while the ambiance beneath the 120-foot towers is stunning.
The Adelphians will be joined at two of their Washington venues by, first, the Puyallup High School Norselanders, conducted by George Guenther, and then Bellingham High School choirs, under the direction of Linda Short.
“We are delighted to share the stage with these top-notch high school choirs, both of whom are recent state ensemble winners,” Zopfi said. “We have had some of these schools’ graduates join the
Adelphians in the past.”
The program of choral music will include Johann Sebastian Bach’s Motet VI: Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden (Praise the Lord, all ye nations), with its famous extended alleluia at the end. The music composed for a cathedral includes Exsultate Justi (Rejoice O ye Just) and Ave verum corpus (Hail, true body). Bringing in some musical fun will be Country Dances and Ronda Catonga, a Uruguayan folk dance. The Bluebird will add a dreamy and contemplative element to the concert, and Good Night, Dear Heart a tenderness fitting to the Robert Richardson poem it is based on—a poem inscribed on the headstone of the daughter of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), who died in her youth. Below are the dates, times, and venues of the concerts:
Wednesday, March 15, 7 p.m. (with Puyallup High School Norselanders)
Puyallup High School
105 Seventh St. SW
Thursday, March 16, 7 p.m. (with Bellingham High School choirs)
Bellingham High School
2020 Cornwall Ave.
Friday, March 17, 8 p.m.
Christ Church Cathedral
Quadra Street at Rockland Avenue
Victoria, British Columbia
Saturday, March 25, 7:30 p.m.
Kilworth Memorial Chapel
University of Puget Sound
N. Union Avenue and N. 14th Street
Founded in 1932 the Adelphian Concert Choir is a student group in the School of Music at University of Puget Sound. Members of the choir are selected through auditions, and about half of the students are music majors. The Adelphians have attracted accolades from audiences in Canada, Europe, and on the West Coast. They consistently receive the highest acclaim for their repertoire, interpretation, and musicianship.
Steven Zopfi, one of the leading young conductors in the Pacific Northwest, is director of choral activities and conductor of the Adelphian Concert Choir and Voci d’Amici at University of Puget Sound. Zopfi has a bachelor’s degree in music education from The Hartt School of music; a Master of Music degree in conducting from University of California, Irvine; and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from University of Colorado. His career has included singing with the City of Prague Philharmonic and New Jersey Symphony orchestras, conducting world premieres of new music, and serving with professional music associations. Currently artistic director and conductor of Portland Symphonic Choir, the official chorus of the Oregon Symphony, Zopfi is in constant demand as a conductor, adjudicator, and clinician.
University of Puget Sound is the only national liberal arts college in the Northwest to have a School of Music accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and to offer a full symphony orchestra, concert band, jazz band, and comprehensive choral program. The school offers three professional degrees for undergraduates.
Press photos of the Adelphian Concert Choir can be downloaded from: pugetsound.edu/pressphotos
Photos on page: From top right: The Adelphians on the grounds of University of Puget Sound, by Ross Mulhausen; Muir Woods in California, named after John Muir by National Parks Service, by Carol Highsmith; Conductor Steven Zopfi.
For directions and a map of the University of Puget Sound campus: pugetsound.edu/directions.
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