The University of St. Thomas welcomes the public to the music performances listed below. All will be held on the university’s St. Paul campus unless noted otherwise. For more information, call the St. Thomas Music Department, (651) 962-5850.
- 8:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas: St. Thomas’ internationally known Liturgical Choir, conducted by founding director Robert Strusinski, will sing Andrew Wright’s “A Requiem of Peace” on All Souls’ Day.
This is the U.S. premiere of this work by the renowned English composer, and pre-eminent Twin Cities soprano Maria Jette will be the soloist. Andrew Hackett is organist, and members of the St. Catherine University Liturgical Choir will join the performance as well.
Wright, former assistant master of music at Westminster Cathedral, has been director of liturgical music for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brentwood, England, since 1982. An Oxford graduate, he sang as an early member of the internationally renowned ensemble, the Tallis Scholars. Last year Wright was unanimously elected to England’s Honorary Fellowship of the Guild of Church Musicians, founded in 1888. He also is a Knight of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great.
This performance is free, and a reception follows, co-sponsored by St. Thomas’ Department of Catholic Studies.
- 8:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas: Award-winning Canadian organist and composer Rachel Laurin presents a recital on the Gabriel Kney organ.Educated at the Montreal Conservatory, Laurin was twice awarded the Conrad-Letendre Prize and last year won the Holtkamp-American Guild of Organists Composition Competition. She was titular organist at Ottawa’s Notre Dame Cathedral from 2002 to 2006 and now devotes most of her time to performing, composing and giving lectures and master classes. Among her upcoming commissions is a work for harp and organ to be performed at the American Guild of Organists 2010 national convention in Washington, D.C.This is a return visit to St. Thomas for Laurin, who performed on the Kney for the American Guild of Organists’ national convention in 2008. Laurin’s program will include music of Dupré, as well as her own compositions for organ: Prelude and Fugue in F Minor, Op. 45; “Quatre Pèlerinages en Lorraine,” Op. 30; and Epilogue, Op. 50. She also will play her organ transcription of Bach’s “Chromatic” Fantasy and Fugue, BWV 903. The program concludes with an improvisation.Laurin’s free performance is part of St. Thomas’ 31st annual Sacred Arts Festival.
- 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, in Benson Great Hall at Bethel University in St. Paul: The first Minnesota Collegiate Choral Festival will feature the St. Thomas Chamber Singers.This inaugural event, sponsored by the F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund Committee and American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota, will feature five outstanding Minnesota choirs – from Minnesota State University-Mankato, Northwestern College, St. John’s University, the University of Minnesota-Duluth as well as from St. Thomas – performing individually and as a mass choir under the direction of Craig Jessop, head of the Music Department at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, and former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. A special commissioned work by Eric William Barnum will be premiered by the combined choirs as the grand finale.Tickets, $25 and $75, can be purchased online at the Minnesota Collegiate Choral Festival Web site or call the Benson Great Hall Box Office, (651) 638-6333 or 1 (866) 424-4849.