Concert is a ‘send-off’ for Augustana Choir before international tour

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Fifty-seven Augustana students are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. On May 27, the Augustana Choir will hop on a plane to Europe for a three-week performance tour of Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Before departing, the choir will perform its tour selections for the Quad-Cities community.

The choir’s home concert is Saturday, May 9, at 8 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa. The concert is free and open to the public. To help offset student costs for the tour, there will be a freewill offering.

The Augustana Choir has cultivated meaningful relationships with musicians and ensembles around the world. This tour will consistently feature those relationships with collaborative performances across Europe.

The first destination is Detmold, Germany, where the choir will perform a joint concert with the Hochschule für Musik. This is a continuation of the partnership that formed during the choir’s 2012 tour to Germany with the performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.

From there the partnerships will build upon past visits and Augustana’s heritage. The choir traveled to Sweden in 1960, 1986, 2001 and 2008. In 2008, the choir celebrated the 200th birthday of Lars Paul Esbjörn, Augustana’s first president. The choir also performed for Governor Barbro Holmberg at the dedication of the new port redevelopment in Gävle.

On this tour, the choir also will have a reception with Governor Barbro Holmberg in celebration of its performance with the Hille Church Choir. The choir’s time in Gävle will be special after having worked closely with Ellen Weiss, the Hille Church Choir’s director, on campus this spring.

Weiss visited campus for three weeks. She worked with members of the Augustana Choir on the history behind some of the Swedish literature they will perform, as well as their pronunciation.

Junior Rebecca Knapper appreciated Weiss’ expertise as the choir prepared for its tour.

“Ellen’s visit has not only improved our pronunciation of the Swedish language, but it has also given us a context in which to sing.”

Knapper continued, “Her heartfelt presence gave us a stronger purpose, and undoubtedly it has enriched our experience preparing for tour and will continue to enrich our experiences throughout the trip.”

Media note: The links below include a photo for promotional use in media coverage and general itinerary for the tour.