Longtime Choir Director Don Busarow Caps Career March 19
Springfield, Ohio – On Friday, March 19, Professor of Music Donald Busarow will take his final bow as director of Wittenberg University’s famed Wittenberg Choir at the conclusion of its annual “Home” Concert in historic Weaver Chapel. Not only will the performance mark the end of the choir’s 15-concert tour through six states, it will also mark Busarow’s final concert after 28 years as director.
Wittenberg choir alumni will host a reception in his honor in the Center Dining Room in the Benham-Pence Student Center following the performance.
Busarow has led the Wittenberg Choir in hundreds of concerts throughout the United States and Europe, and for the past 10 years has programmed works from the Russian Orthodox Church into the concerts. A first-generation American whose father was born in Lithuania, and his mother in Russia, his deep interest in the music that represents his heritage has led him to introduce audiences to these works, two of which 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.”
Busarow established a four-year cycle of tours that took the choir south, west, northeast or midwest to perform each year. Not only has the choir brought excellence to each performance, its members have served as ambassadors and as a recruitment tool for the university.
A noted composer of church music and a concert organist, Busarow joined the Wittenberg faculty in 1975. He was appointed director of the choir in 1982, making him the fourth director in its illustrious 80-year history. Although he is retiring from the duties of choir director, he will remain a presence in the classroom.
According to Professor of Music and Department Chair David Schubert, for the 2010-2011 academic year, Busarow will teach MUSI 101A, Elementary Music Theory, each term; MUSI 155, Intermediate Theory I, in the spring; and MUSI 257, Intermediate Theory II, in the fall. He will also teach applied composition, when needed.
“Don is extremely active and is well respected by the university and surrounding communities for his unfailing loyalty and service to his discipline,” Schubert said. “His graciousness and spirit have influenced many hundreds of students.”
Busarow received his undergraduate training at Concordia Teachers College (River Forest, Illinois), now known as Concordia University Chicago. He received a Master of Music degree in organ at the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Ph.D. at Michigan State University. In 1996, Busarow’s alma mater conferred an honorary doctorate on him for “his contribution to the church through his composition, teaching, organ performance and choral conducting.”
Written By: Phyllis Eberts
Photo By: Dan Kazez