The Gustavus Choir, the premier choral ensemble at Gustavus Adolphus College as well as one of the nation’s premier Lutheran college choirs, is traveling on a 14-day tour of Italy that will include performances in five different cities.
Now in its 79th year, the Gustavus Choir is one of six choirs in an active and highly integrated choral program at the College. Under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Aune, the choir has toured extensively throughout the continental United States, and internationally in South Africa, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.
The choir has also performed for the King and Queen of Sweden, premiered commissioned works by noteworthy international and American composers, and been featured at the prestigious American Choral Directors Association’s North Central Convention.
Aune is in his 16th year as conductor of the Gustavus Choir. He also teaches classes in conducting and choral literature and has served as music director of the College’s annual Christmas in Christ Chapel celebration. He has an extensive resume conducting choral and orchestral masterworks and orchestral literature.
The ensemble arrived in Rome on Friday, Jan. 14 and will have traveled to Sorrento, Assisi, and Florence before concluding the trip in Venice on Thursday, Jan. 27. Following its return to Minnesota, the Gustavus Choir will perform its Home Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 in Christ Chapel. This concert is free and open to the public.
As is the case for all Gustavus international music tours, it includes an academic component. The 57 student musicians are engaged in a “Cultures in Creativity” course taught by Chaplain Brian Johnson ’80. The course is a study of the Italian culture and Renaissance art. The student musicians of varying majors attended all-morning class on campus Jan. 3-12 and all-afternoon and several evening rehearsals. The learning and music making continues in Italy’s museums, churches, and more.
Click here to view a complete itinerary of the Gustavus Choir’s 2011 Italy tour. Also follow the course and tour blog online at gustavus.edu/go/musictours. The blogger will be Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communication Stacia Vogel.
The tradition of concert touring by the music ensembles at Gustavus was established as early as 1878 for the musical, artistic, and educational benefit for the student members. Concert touring provides an opportunity to perform a concert program numerous times, fostering a deeper artistic understanding an expression of the music. It develops high levels of musical discipline and artistic integrity and allows the musicians to experience a variety of acoustic environments and widely diverse audience and ensemble dynamics.
The importance of music in the Gustavus undergraduate curriculum has long been recognized. Nearly half of its 2,500 students register for courses in theory, history, appreciation, pedagogy, and performance of music each year and many are members of some 30 performing ensembles.