BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - This summer, from LSU's shady oaks and broad magnolias, the A Cappella Choir will travel to England to sing in historic churches where kings repose and scholars don the British tunic of academia. This special opportunity to represent Louisiana as well as LSU in a memorable concert highlighting British and American choral music began with an invitation to perform at this summer's 2016 Association of British Choral Director's Convention in Winchester, England. For this occasion, the choir commissioned a choral work set to a poem by Britain's John Donne with music by the American composer J.A.C. Redford. Donne was a 15th century metaphysical poet, Church of England cleric and Dean of St Paul's Cathedral London known for sonnets. Redford writes movies scores as well as classical music. He orchestrated the recent James Bond film with Adele's "Skyfall," and is currently writing the score for the remake of "The Magnificent Seven."
This is a great honor and highly coveted invitation for a university choral group. According to Dr. Dickson, Director of the LSU A Cappella Choir and Galante Chair in Choral Music Education, "International travel with the opportunity of experiencing other cultures is a great educational experience. Yet, when wedded to musical performances before astute international audiences in world-class venues, the experience can be life-changing!" In addition to the choir's conference performance, Dickson will represent LSU at a Conducting Masterclass workshop plus seminar entitled "The Expressivity of Language in Choral Music."
How did LSU capture the spotlight at this conference? "I started in '92," Dickson remembers. "I was the liaison between the American Choral Director's Association, and the Association of British Choral Directors. With 25 years of experience conducting British choirs, the invitation came as a result of a long-term association with my British colleagues."
Due to his post-doctoral study at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England as well as being the Founding Director of the C. S. Lewis Foundation's Oxbridge Choral Institute, Dickson is known as a world-class choral director with premiere university choirs under his baton. During the A Cappella Choir's England trip, the choir will sing at the historic British locations of St. John's College, Cambridge University, Ely Cathedral, St. Paul's Cathedral, London, The Royal Chapel of St. George's, Windsor and Winchester Cathedral.
At St. George's, Windsor, standing just a few feet from Henry the 8th's tomb, the A Cappella Choir will experience the grander of historical and architectural England. In these hallowed locations, "They will perform some of America's and Britain's greatest choral works for a cappella choir for a British audience," says Dickson. This is truly a life-time memory.
Baton Rouge has the opportunity to hear the A Cappella Choir perform the England Tour program this Sunday, April 24 at 3:00 p.m. at First Methodist Church, Baton Rouge. Come hear the music that will soon resound in historic English halls and cathedrals! It is a free benefit concert, with donations accepted, that will offer the opportunity for our town to support LSU's A Cappella Choir England Tour. For more information, go to cmda.lsu.edu/events or call 225-578-3527.
Information provided by LSU