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Drake Choir to give concert, then embark on European Tour

May 5, 2008
Photo of Drake Choir membersMEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Lacher, 515-271-3119, lisa.lacher@drake.edu

The Drake Choir, the University's select touring choral ensemble, will travel to Italy and Austria from May 22-June 3, performing concerts in Rome, Assisi, Florence, Salzburg, Melk and Vienna.

The ensemble will provide a preview of its tour program at a special pre-tour concert at noon Wednesday, May 21, on the Jordan Stage in Sheslow Auditorium, Old Main, 2507 University Ave. The program includes:

  • "Agnus Dei," by Samuel Barber
  • "Os justi" by Austrian composer Anton Bruckner
  • "O Clap Your Hands" by Carl Staplin, Drake professor emeritus of music
  • "Sicut cervus" by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
  • "Missa St. Joannis de Deo" by Franz Josef Haydn

An ice cream social, sponsored by Drake President David Maxwell, will immediately follow the performance. Both the concert and social are free and open to the public.

Aimee Beckmann-Collier, Drake director of choral studies, conducts the choir, which will give concerts in famous cathedrals such as:

  • St. Peter's Basilica in Rome
  • The Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi
  • Chiesa Santa Maria dei Ricci in Florence
  • Domkirche and Christuskirche in Salzburg
  • Melk Abbey near Vienna
  • St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

Between performances, the 52 students i n the choir will do lots of sightseeing, including a visit to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. Their daily journal entries about the tour will be posted, with accompanying photos, on the choir blog.

Choir members raised funds for the trip through personal and family contributions, delivering singing valentines and performing an annual benefit concert. Support also came from Drake Student Senate, Drake alumnus and benefactor Jim Collier, as well as other Drake alumni and friends. The total cost of the trip, which is not paid for by any university funds, is $195,000.

The Drake Choir tours throughout the United States annually and internationally every four years. The ensemble has sung in Carnegie Hall, for the American Choral Directors Association North Central Division conference and with the Des Moines Symphony.

For more information, call 515-271-2841.