Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ep 48 - Song 7: "Entreat Me Not to Leave You" (truncated) written by Dan Forest and performed by Luther College Nordic Choir



"Nordic Choir, founded in 1946, enjoys national and international acclaim as a premier collegiate choral ensemble in the United States. The choir beings its tenure under the direction of Dr. Andrew Last this year. Last arrived at Luther in the fall of 2012 and begins his role as Director of Choral Activities in 2017. Previous conductors include Sigvart Steen (1946-48), Weston Noble '43 (1948-2005), Craig Arnold (2005-10), and Allen Hightower (2010-16).

"Nordic Choir is Luther’s flagship choir in a choral program that comprises three upper-class mixed touring choirs, two first-year choirs, and a women’s choir. More than 500 singers from these ensembles combine with Symphony Orchestra, Luther Ringers, and pipe organ for five Christmas at Luther performances each year...

'Traditions within the Nordic Choir include holding hands during all performances, the sapphire blue velvet robes, and singing Pavel Chesnokov's O Lord God as the signature benedictory since 1948."
- from their home page

"The Nordic Choir is a 62-voice a cappella choir of select mixed voices from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

"In 1948, just two years after its founding by Sigvart Steen, a Luther College alumnus, a young Weston Noble began a 57-year tenure as music director and conductor.[1] Together, Noble and The Nordic Choir cultivated the Lutheran collegiate choral traditions in the United States.

"Eventually five more choirs were added to the music program to accommodate the growing interest in choral music and voice at Luther. In 2005, Luther College named Craig Arnold to the position of Director of Choral Activities and conductor of the Nordic Choir following Noble’s retirement. Arnold held the position from 2005-2010. Allen Hightower was appointed conductor effective Fall 2010 and left for University of North Texas in 2016. The current conductor is Andrew Last."
- from their Wikipedia entry

"For those of you who don't know the Luther College choral program, this is a small school (about 2,500 students) of ambitious undergrads. Often when we hear great choirs from big schools we are hearing some much older, more mature voices (grad voice majors, grad teaching assistants, etc) in the top choir. The Lutheran singing tradition in Iowa, Minnesota, to some extent the Dakotas is remarkable. In addition to Luther, almost every college or university in the area fields outstanding choirs...

"This was something that I loved about this choir and Hightower- I felt that the choir under Arnold had one mode of bold, yet still warm singing and that it often sounded like a really great y'all come choir, in the sense that there was usually very little subtlety, nuance, phrasing, etc. Under Hightower every text and musical phrase is understood, and I also felt that the singers (holding hands in the Luther tradition) really heard all the other voice parts fitting into their own throughout every measure of every piece. There was an organic, communal process happening- seventy voices as one, if you will." - from a review on composer Paul Carey's website

Lineup:
Vocals - 2013-2014 Nordic Choir
Conductor - Allan Hightower


The song had to be cut down on the podcast for time reasons, but you can hear the complete version on this video:


Home page:
http://www.luther.edu/music/nordic-choir/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/LutherNordicChoir/

Composer Dan Forest's home page:
http://danforrest.com/

To download the podcast, right click on the link below and hit "Save as...":
https://archive.org/download/Episode48IowaClassicalMusic/Episode%2048_%20Iowa%20Classical%20Music.mp3

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