University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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News Bureau . Schofield Hall 201 . Eau Claire, WI 54702
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UW-Eau Claire Concert Choir to Participate
In D-Day Commemorative Performances in France

 MAILED:  May 12, 2004

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Concert Choir, conducted by Dr. Gary Schwartzhoff, director of choral activities, will tour Spain and France this summer from May 26 to June 9.

Highlights of the choir’s performance schedule include a concert at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and a concert for 300 World War II veterans in Caen, France, the center of some of the fiercest fighting in the liberation of 1944 and home to Le Mémorial de Caen, an award-winning peace memorial and World War II museum. Both these concerts, as well as several others, are planned as part of the 2004 American Celebration of Music in France, which offers performance opportunities for American musicians and a way to renew long-standing Franco-American ties.

“The Concert Choir European Tour offers many extraordinary concert venues,” said Schwartzhoff. “I am very excited about the performances commemorating the 60th anniversary of D-Day. This tour will be a wonderful experience for the Concert Choir and the University.”

Four members of the Concert Choir will participate in a special performance of Gabriel Fauré’s “Requiem” at Omaha Beach, a D-Day commemoration performed by an international choir of singers and musicians from all the World War II allied countries. The participating UW-Eau Claire musicians are soprano Amanda De Pons, New Berlin, alto Margaret Aspinwall, Madison, tenor David Fehr, Eau Claire, and bass Daniel Sinclair, Madison. The entire concert choir, comprised of more than 60 performers, has been invited to be in the audience for this memorable event.

Prior to these special performances, the Concert Choir will begin its European tour in Spain, with three concerts in Madrid and two in Barcelona. The ensemble will offer their audiences an eclectic program, including religious choral music of the 16th to the 20th centuries, African-American folk songs and “Hymn to the Fallen,” the theme from the film “Saving Private Ryan” by John Williams and Tom Anderson.

This will be the eighth European concert tour for the Concert Choir, which performed there, under three different directors, in 1964,1966, 1968, 1970, 1978, 1994 and 2000. They will kick-off their tour with a Bon Voyage concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 25, at the First Congregational Church in Eau Claire. Free-will donations will be accepted.

The choir’s two compact discs, “Sing We Merrily” and “2000 European Tour,” are available from the Voice and Choral Area at UW-Eau Claire.

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 Judy Berthiaume, Director
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
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Updated: May 11, 2004