Bluefield University’s ‘Variations’ Chamber Singers will be performing a concert entitled “Sing all ye Lands, the Praises of God” at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Charleston, West Virginia on Sunday, February 3, 2019, at 4 p.m. All are welcome and encouraged to attend the concert.
The ‘Variations’ Chamber Singers are preparing to perform a tour across Europe this summer, performing pieces such as Dennis Allen’s rhythmic arrangement of “A Mighty Fortress” and “Praise His Holy Name,” a gospel selection by Keith Hampton. The concert, held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, is a fundraising event for their upcoming European choir tour, which will take place July 2-11, 2019 and will feature songs alluding to Psalm 66:1-2.
While on tour in Europe, ‘Variations’ will be performing Mozart, Ešenvalds, and Wilberg, along with selections chosen by Janos Szifra, the Kappelmeister of Salzburg Cathedral, and Stan Engebretsen of the United States.
Bluefield University ‘Variations’ will also be performing a number of American spirituals and folk-songs. “European audiences already know their own composers, so why try to sing music they can sing?” said Dr. John Moir, Bluefield University director of choirs and voice.
Included in the works are “Now Let Me Fly,” “Every Time I Feel the Spirit,” “Hark, I hear the Harps Eternal” by Robert Shaw, and “Lux Aurumque” by Eric Whitacre. Among those, “Built on a Rock,” written by Bluefield resident Paul Royer, will be a première.
Dr. John Moir, director of choirs and voice, started at Bluefield University three years ago.
“Part of a choral conductor’s job, I feel, is to find repertoire that both challenges the choir, but also teaches them—music from different eras, compositional schools, and style, that sort of thing.”
“I have seen the choirs at BU grow and develop… and I look forward to… our first tour in more than a decade. Both the students and the community adults [in MasterWorks] are improving their vocal sound and musicianship,” said Moir. “It certainly is the hand of God on our work together,” added Moir.
The ‘Variations’ Chamber Singers are looking to do more outreach, recruiting, and performing during the months of February and March. If you are interested in hosting ‘Variations’ for a concert at your church, or if you are interested in signing up to come along as a “groupie” for their upcoming tour in July, contact the Bluefield University Music Department.