Spring concert features St Martin-in-the-Fields Choir from London

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April 8, 2011

St Martin-in-the-Fields Choir from London

The choir from St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, London, will join three College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University choral ensembles and the Amadeus Chamber Symphony, in concert at 8 p.m. Friday, April 29, in the Saint John's Abbey and University Church in Collegeville, Minn.

"The annual spring concert is always the culmination of another year of music making, combining many of the colleges' top performance groups and is the farewell concert for all graduating seniors. This year is even more exciting," said Axel Theimer, professor of music at CSB and SJU.

"It does not happen often that college groups have the opportunity to collaborate in performance with a very distinguished and celebrated choral ensemble - let alone one from Great Britain," he said.

St Martin-in-the-Fields' appearance at Saint John's is the first stop on their first-ever U.S. tour. Theimer commented that several coincidences make this appearance unique.

"St Martin-in-the-Fields Church is the royal parish church," he said. Also, the day of the concert is the wedding day of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London, making this a special occasion for the visiting choir. "We will celebrate with them - through music," he said.

In celebration of the Royal Wedding, St Martin-in-the-Fields will join the Chamber Choir and the Amadeus Chamber Symphony in the performance G.F. Handel's Coronation Anthem The King Shall Rejoice, and will also present several solo selections from their wide repertoire of sacred music. The Amadeus Chamber Symphony will perform a short Symphony by British Baroque composer William Boyce, as well as Samuel Barber's all-time audience favorite, Adagio for Strings. The concert will culminate in the performance of Leonard Bernstein's magnificent opus - with connections to Great Britain - Chichester Psalms.

The choir from St Martin-in-the-Fields Church is under the direction of Andrew Earis. "The choir is delighted to be coming to Collegeville on its first visit to the United States," he said.

The CSB Women's Choir is conducted by Jody Martinson. Theimer directs the CSB/SJU Chamber Choir, SJU Men's Chorus and Amadeus Chamber Symphony.

The concert is co-sponsored by the CSB/SJU Department of Music and the Institute for Sacred Music at Saint John's.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students, employees at CSB and SJU and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the Benedicta Arts Center of the College of Saint Benedict box office (10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday), by calling 320-363-5777 or online.