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Molalla High School choir will premiere Ola Gjeilo commission

Location: Maryland, USA
Composer Ola Gjeilo has written an original piece for the Molalla High School Concert Choir that the choir will premiere on Feb. 9 in a concert titled "Sanctuary," starting at 7 p.m. in the high school's Civic Auditorium, 357 Francis St. 

The choir also performed Gjeilo (pronounced YAY-lo) pieces in 2009 and 2010. 

Choir teacher Tim Friesen said, "The students loved his composition style and I knew that this year's group could probably handle another one of his difficult pieces. I asked him to send me a couple of his compositions to look over. What I looked at just wasn't shouting out, 'This is the one!' so I contacted him. He mentioned having us commission him to compose a piece specifically for our choir." 

Friesen and his students raised more than $4,000, including two substantial grants from Molalla Communications and the Regional Arts & Culture Council, for the commission. 

"Without those groups, this wouldn't have happened," Friesen said. 

The concert will also include a piano performance by Gjeilo. 

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to help offset the cost of bringing Gjeilo to Molalla from New York. 

The Molalla High choir is a perennial top-five finisher in state choral competitions. 
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