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World-Renowned Wittenberg Choir To Visit Six Northeastern States

February 9, 2010  
 Filed in Arts and Culture, Arts Scene

ChoirThe world-renowned Wittenberg University Choir, under the direction of Professor of Music Donald Busarow, will tour six northeastern states during its annual Spring Concert Tour, March 4-14.

The tour begins Thursday, March 4, at Zion Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh, Pa., and continues to St. James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, Pa., on Friday, March 5. The tour continues at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ardmore, Pa, on Saturday, March 6, followed by a pair of Sunday, March 7, performances at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Summit, NJ, and King of Kings Lutheran Church in Mountain Lakes, NJ.

Next are performances at Grace Lutheran Church in Teaneck, NJ, on Monday, March 8, Zion Lutheran Church in Southington, Conn., on Tuesday, March 9, and Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Norwood, Mass., on Wednesday, March 10.

On the return trip the choir will perform at two New York churches, Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Rochester on Thursday, March 11, and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Tonawanda on Friday, March 12. On Saturday, March 13, the choir sings in Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Erie, Pa., before concluding its tour on Sunday, March 14, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ashland, Ohio, the home church of the choir’s president, Amanda Marenchin, class of 2010.

While the tour officially ends March 14, the choir has two performances scheduled for the following week, starting with a concert at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio, on Wednesday, March 17. Finally, the choir’s annual “home” concert in Wittenberg’s historic Weaver Chapel is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, March 19.

Click here for a complete tour schedule, including church addresses and performance times.

Appointed in 1982, Busarow is the choir’s fourth director in its illustrious 80-year history. He has been a member of the Wittenberg faculty since 1975. This tour is his “farewell tour” as he will be retiring as director of the choir after 28 seasons. A reception in honor of Busarow will take place after the choir’s home concert.

For the past 10 years Busarow has programmed works from the Russian Orthodox Church. His father was born in Lithuania, and his mother was born in Russia. As a first-generation American, Busarow is deeply interested in music that represents his heritage, and two such works are included in this year’s program.

“Our programs are unique, in my opinion,” Busarow said. “I look for some music that will reach everyone in the audience at some point in the concert.”

Of the 40 current choir members, 10 seniors have been with the choir throughout their four years at Wittenberg, which Busarow said is a remarkable achievement. Earning a position in the choir for one year is no guarantee of a permanent place. Annual auditions take place, and members are selected on the basis of voice quality, vocal range and music skills. Every academic department on campus is represented in the choir. Just 12 members are music majors.

Robert White, Wittenberg’s director of church relations, will once again travel with the choir, representing the university each evening with a short presentation during the intermission. In addition, Wittenberg Professor of Music Christopher Durrenberger is participating in the 2010 tour. A classically trained concert pianist, Durrenberger will collaborate with the choir on all accompanied pieces and will also perform a solo after intermission of each concert.

The choir serves as a recruitment tool for the university. In addition to his presentations during each evening’s concert, White sets up a display of admission materials, and he and Durrenberger are available to discuss information about the school with concert-goers. White also ensures that Wittenberg alumni within 50 miles of each concert site are invited to attend the concerts and receptions. Alumni receptions will be held in Ardmore, Pa., Norwood, Mass., Rochester, NY and Tonawanda, NY.

“The members of the choir are tremendous ambassadors for the university,” White said. “Wherever they go, they represent Wittenberg at its best.”

- Written by: Ryan Maurer
- Photo by: Erin Pence
- Media Contact: Ryan Maurer

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