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Morten Lauridsen Choral Festival Featuring Composer and His Music

Location: California, USA

~~Valley Concert Chorale to Host Choral Festival Featuring Composer Morten Lauridsen, National Medal of Arts Recipient, and His Music

Livermore, Calif. – The Valley Concert Chorale, celebrating 50 years as the Tri-Valley’s premier chorus, will host a five-day choral festival featuring the music of choral composer Morten Lauridsen. Mr. Lauridsen, named an 'American Choral Master' by the National Endowment for the Arts and the 2007 recipient of the National Medal of Arts, will be present for the festival which will include two choral performances, choral workshops for high school and college choirs, and showing of a film documentary about  his life. 

The Chorale, in collaboration with the choirs of California State University San Jose, California State University East Bay, Las Positas College and Amador Valley High School, will participate in the workshops and present two performances of all-Lauridsen musical selections.  Details are as follows:

A Morten Lauridsen Festival with Morten Lauridsen

Saturday, May 17, 2014
8:00 pm
Mission Dolores Basilica
3321 Sixteenth St., San Francisco

Sunday, May 18, 2014
7:30 pm
Amador Theater
1155 Santa Rita Rd., Pleasanton

“This is a very special event for the Chorale, the colleges, high school and the community,” says John Emory Bush, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Chorale. 
“Having Mr. Lauridsen present to lead choral workshops and prepare the choirs for two incredible concerts is very exciting, especially for singers.  It’s a great learning experience for everyone, especially for the college and high school students.”

Lauridsen is most noted for his seven vocal cycles and his series of a cappella motets which are regularly performed by distinguished ensembles and vocal artists throughout the world.  The two concerts will feature selections from his Mid-Winter Songs, Nocturnes, set to four poems, one of which is the moving Sure on the Shining Night, Dirait-on from his Les Chansons des Roses cycle, selections from Madrigali: Six "Firesongs", O Nata Lux from Lux Aeterna, and O Magnum Mysterium performed a cappella.

In addition, singers from the audience who know Dirait-on and Sure on this Shining Night are welcome to bring music and join the choirs in a reprise of these two selections.

“Mr. Lauridsen is one of, if not the most heralded choral composers in the world today,” explains Bush. “His choral works are some of the most moving and inspiring of pieces ever written, and we are so very fortunate to have him be a part of our 50th Anniversary season, sharing his skill and insight to his music.  It will be an experience the singers will never forget, and neither will the audiences who attend the May performances.” 

Film: “Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen
A special showing of the award-winning film “Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen” offers a glimpse into the life and music of one of America's greatest contemporary composers. 

Wednesday, May 14th 2014, 7pm.
Vine Cinema
1722 First St, Livermore

Tickets for the festival events are as follows:

May 14: Film “Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen” - $10
May 17: Choral performance, Mission Dolores Basilica, San Francisco - $10-$25
May 18: Choral performance, Amador Theater, Pleasanton - $10-$25

(Student tickets $10 with valid student ID)

Tickets may be purchased online on the Chorale’s website at, or by calling (925) 866-4003.

More information about the Valley Concert Chorale is available at or by calling the general information line at (925) 866-4003.

About Morten Lauridsen
Morten Johannes Lauridsen (born February 27, 1943) is an American composer. A National Medal of Arts recipient (2007), he was composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (1994–2001) and has been a professor of composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for more than 40 years.

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Lauridsen worked as a Forest Service firefighter and lookout (on an isolated tower near Mt. St. Helens) and attended Whitman College before traveling south to study composition at the University of Southern California with Ingolf Dahl, Halsey Stevens, Robert Linn, and Harold Owen. He began teaching at USC in 1967 and has been on their faculty ever since.

In 2006, Lauridsen was named an 'American Choral Master' by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2007 he received the National Medal of Arts from the President in a White House ceremony, "for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide."

His works have been recorded on more than 200 CDs, five of which have received Grammy Award nominations, including O Magnum Mysterium by the Tiffany Consort, A Company of Voices by Conspirare, Sound The Bells by The Bay Brass and two all-Lauridsen discs entitled Lux Aeterna by the Los Angeles Master Chorale led by Paul Salamunovich and Polyphony with the Britten Sinfonia conducted by Stephen Layton. His principal publishers are Peermusic (New York/Hamburg) and Faber Music (London).

For more about Mr. Lauridsen, visit his website at

About Valley Concert Chorale
The Valley Concert Chorale is celebrating its 50th Anniversary season as the Tri-Valley’s premier chorus.  Under the direction of John Emory Bush, the Chorale has offered a variety of musical performances to serve the diverse musical tastes of its audiences. 

Valley Concert Chorale’s mission is to engage audiences in the transforming power of music by sharing their passion and joy in live performance.  They are dedicated to excellence in singing choral music of all genres, nurturing the next generation of singers, and supporting musical endeavors in the Tri-Valley community.

The all-volunteer, non-profit chorale receives financial support from grants, ticket sales, membership dues, fundraisers and donations.
About the Director
John Emory Bush has been the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Valley Concert Chorale since 1998.  He holds a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music and is also trained as a pianist, organist and harpist. He was Music Director and Conductor of the San Francisco Concert Chorale for eighteen seasons and Director of Music and Organist at St. Matthew's Episcopal Cathedral in Dallas from 2000-2010.  Mr. Bush is Principal Organist at First United Methodist Church, McKinney, Texas.  For the past fourteen years, Mr. Bush has divided his time between the Bay Area and Dallas, contributing to both musical communities.




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