ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) — The Luther College Nordic Choir will make a scheduled stop in Rockford next week.
Celebrating its 75th anniversary, the choir performs at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24 and will be hosted by the Lutheran Church of Our Savior at 3300 Rural Street. An inaugural performance is scheduled the day before in Eau Claire, Wis.
Audience members will have the chance to hear “Alleluia” by Randall Thompson and “Lost in the Night” arranged by F. Melius Christiansen as well as new music, including “The Gift to Sing” by Gregory Berg, commissioned by the Luther College class of 1970, and “I Shall Not Forget” by Zachary L. Moore.
“I Won’t Forget” was commissioned by the Studt family of Eau Claire, Wis., in memory of Rachel Studt ’89 who recently died of rare early-onset dementia. Rachel’s husband, Larry, wrote the lyrics, and their daughter, Nordic Choir member Laurel ’22, will perform the song alongside her peers. “I Won’t Forget” premiered at the American Choral Directors Association Midwest convention in Chicago in February.
“I would say it’s a very reflective piece,” Laurel said. “It’s a lot about coping with the trials and tribulations of a disease that many people have had to go through during the pandemic. Our situation wasn’t specifically COVID-related, but it’s a very emotional piece, just reflecting how difficult the pandemic is, not being able to see the people we love and being in that kind of isolation. But it ends up ending in simple gratitude for all the memories we’ve been able to create over the past few years and the time we spend with our loved ones.
The performances were described as “thrilling”, “breathtaking” and “rock solid in intonation and rhythmic clarity”.
Nordic Choir is Luther’s primary traveling choir in a choral program comprising three upper-class mixed traveling choirs and two freshman choirs. While honoring the Lutheran choral tradition, the group explores new and innovative works in all styles and genres.
Since 2017, the choir has been under the direction of Andrew Last, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities.
“After a year without a touring opportunity, Nordic Choir is thrilled to share music with audiences across the Midwest,” Last said. “As we celebrate 75 years of this ensemble’s history, the concert program promises to include something for those who wish to celebrate the past and for those who look to the future!”
There is no cost to attend the concert, although voluntary donations are collected.
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