NEWBERRY, S.C. – The choirs of Newberry College and Lenoir-Rhyne University are teaming up for a special joint concert at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday, April 24, at 7 p.m. It will be the first time the choirs of from both of the Lutheran institutions have performed together. The program features the Newberry College Singers and Madrigals from Newberry College and the College Singers and A Capella Choir from Lenoir-Rhyne University.
The combined choir concert is part of a series of events scheduled during the Luther Decade (2008 – 2017) to honor the 500th anniversary of the Reformation which will occur in 2017. Both institutions are affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Newberry is a college of the South Carolina Synod; Lenoir-Rhyne is a university of the North Carolina Synod.
The choirs will perform separately and a combined program. The program will open with the Bach extended chorale from Cantata BWV 79 for the Reformation, Now Thank We All Our God, and will end with F. Melius Christiansen’s perennial favorite, Beautiful Savior. Other combined pieces include the Duruflé Sanctus, and Northern Lights by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo. The choirs will perform the powerful spiritual by Moses Hogan, My Soul’s Been Anchored, as well as Paul Weber’s dynamic setting of the Reformation hymn, A Mighty Fortress, on which the audience will be invited to join.
Another highlight of the program will be pieces for the combined women and men of the choirs. The women will sing Esenvald’s ethereal O salutaris hostia, and the men will perform Ralph Vaughan Williams’ setting of Loch Lomond. In addition the chamber ensembles of each choir – the College Singers from Lenoir-Rhyne and the Madrigals from Newberry – will perform selections individually and together. Their combined pieces will be Orban’s Come Away, on a text by William Shakespeare, and Beautiful River, a setting of Shall We Gather by the River by the American composer William Hawley.
About Newberry College:
Newberry College is a private, residential, coeducational college with a diverse student population. Having begun as a seminary-academy in 1831 at the recommendation of Rev. John Bachman, the College began its charter as a degree-granting institution in 1856. Now, over 150 years later, it has continued to flourish as the ELCA’s southern-most affiliated college. Newberry College was ranked in the top tier of regional colleges in the South in the 2016 issue of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges in the U.S. The College offers baccalaureate degrees in 33 majors, 39 minors, 42 areas of concentration and 10 pre-professional programs. Visit www.newberry.edu for more information.
For decades, the Department of Music has been a major part of campus life. With the most full-time faculty of any department, the choirs and instrumental ensembles have toured the south for more than 80 years. The College also hosts the state’s high school All-State Jazz Festival, one of the longest-running state jazz festivals in the country. The Music department offers degrees in music education, performance, church music, music theory, plus minors in areas such as music business, jazz studies and musical theater. The Newberry College Singers and Madrigals are conducted by Dr. Chris Sheppard, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities. Their accompanist is Dawn Driggers.