Pacific Lutheran University is known for its music program, which produces a number of award-winning choirs and bands. One of PLU’s most prestigious musical groups is making strides once again.
This November, Choir of the West will serve as the featured performers for the 2015 National Collegiate Choral Organization Concert, held in Portland, Oregon Nov. 12-14. NCCO hosts conferences that bring university choirs together to perform for each other and learn about improving their craft.
PLU’s Choir of the West is not only this year’s featured choral group, but will be led in their performance by Simon Carrington, one of the world’s most renowned choral conductors. Carrington is the former conductor of the esteemed Yale Schola Cantorum, and one of the founding members of vocal ensemble The King’s Singers.
“Simon Carrington is among the best in the world at his craft, and preparing to work with him brings the focus and intensity in our rehearsals to an even higher level,” said Richard Nance, PLU music professor and Choir of the West conductor.
Carrington now works as a freelance conductor and choral educator, one that is in high demand. Performing under his direction at the NCCO is a special honor for Choir of the West and the PLU community at large.
“The invitation to perform on this prestigious stage with a highly sought after conductor has come to us because our program is growing in national and world reputation,” Nance said.
PLU’s Choir of the West stands as one of the University’s most esteemed musical groups. The choir has completed world tours and won numerous awards for their performances. This year, the group will even appear television as part of the nationwide broadcast of PLU’s Christmas concert in December.
Choir of the West was invited to perform with Carrington by special invitation from the NCCO conference organization committee. Nance says he is not only impressed the group’s past accomplishments, but also with their dedication to preparing for this unique opportunity.
“It has been very gratifying and inspiring to watch the students work so diligently and with such cohesion in preparation for this conference program,” Nance said. “I am very proud of my students and the choir for continuing this tradition of choral excellence at PLU.”
The NCCO event will be held at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, Oregon, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13, for those who wish to attend. ◼︎