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U-M Chamber Choir to Tour Australia and New Zealand


The University of Michigan Chamber Choir, led by Jerry Blackstone, director of choirs and chair of the conducting department at the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD), will embark on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand beginning July 4, 2014. The tour is the result of a prestigious invitation to headline the 2014 National Conference of the New Zealand Choral Federation (NZCF) in Hastings, NZ.

The tour kicks off following a recording session at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor and a "bon voyage" concert at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, 9844 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, on Monday, June 30 at 7 p.m. The concert is free ($10 suggested donation) and open to the public.

The premier choral ensemble at U-M, the Chamber Choir performs a wide variety of the most challenging repertoire, ranging from renaissance to contemporary music. The 32-voice ensemble is composed largely of graduate and upper-level voice, choral music education, and conducting majors.  

The Choir's "down under" tour will feature collaborations, workshops, and six concerts throughout Australia (Brisbane and Sydney) and New Zealand (Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington, and Hastings). Cross-cultural experiences, particularly with Maori singers at the Museum of New Zealand, are highly anticipated.

The tour culminates with the 2014 NZCF Conference, July 16-19, where the Chamber Choir will present a featured concert. The performance will include recently premiered works by SMTD composition professor Kristin Kuster and graduate student Daniel Knaggs, made possible by the William and Delores Brehm Endowed Commission for Choral Works, and a work by graduate student Greg Simon, winner of the 2013 Brehm Prize in Choral Composition. A professional recording will be made of these new works and other tour repertoire. Blackstone will serve as the keynote leader for conference and will conduct master classes and present several other conference sessions.

The Australia and New Zealand tour is being made possible by a grant from the Office of the Provost, the Friends of Choir support group, and the Global Tour Fund, created by alumni of the 1961 Symphony Band that toured Russia and the Middle East.

Performances by Chamber Choir can be seen on their YouTube channel, titled "U-M Chamber Choir."



past news

September 2017
March 2014

U-M UpstART Festival Begins 03/31/2014

Students Present "Wall-to-Wall Theatre Festival" 03/27/2014

First-Ever SMTD Chamber Music Competition Launches April 5 03/27/2014

Doctoral Fellow Named MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year 03/26/2014

Theatre Student Lands Major TV Role 03/25/2014

Elizabeth Batiuk (ethnomusicology) has been chosen as a fellow at the Sweetland/Rackham Dissertation Writing Institute for spring 2014 and James McNally (ethnomusicology) received a summer and academic year FLAS for the study of Portuguese.    03/17/2014

Musicology graduate student Elizabeth McLain has been awarded a prestigious Lurcy Fellowship for research in France during the 2014-2015 academic year.   03/14/2014

December 2013

SMTD students Zoe Kumagai, Stephanie Aboukasm, and Adam DesJardins are among students profiled in an LSA article about the "Michigan in Washington" program, in which students intern at various Washington, DC organizations and businesses, including the National Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center, and the Washington Performing Arts Society.    12/10/2013

October 2013
August 2013

Evan Zegiel, a sophomore who studies with Fritz Kaenzig, was the First Place winner in the Tuba Student division of the 2013 Leonard Falcone International Euphonium & Tuba Festival.     08/21/2013

July 2013

Professor Ashley Lucas and three Theatre & Drama students are engaged in an intensive exchange program with UniRio in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this summer, where they are blogging about their experiences in UniRio's prison arts program and more.   07/12/2013

November 2011
August 2011
June 2011
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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower