posted March 4, 2014

Chapel Choir, Symphonette and Wind Ensemble Conduct Spring Tours

Three Hope College musical ensembles are conducting their spring tours.

The Chapel Choir, Symphonette Strings and Wind Ensemble will conduct multi-day tours beginning Thursday, March 13, and continuing through Thursday, March 20.

The Chapel Choir will perform in multiple communities in Illinois between Friday, March 14, and Tuesday, March 18.  The group will perform at First United Methodist Church-Chicago Temple in Chicago, Ill., on Friday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m.; at Christ Church of Oak Brook, Ill., on Sunday, March 16, at 3 p.m.; at Flossmoor Community Church in Flossmoor, Ill., on Monday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m.; and at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights, Ill., on Tuesday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m.  The choir will also perform at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Flossmoor, Ill., on Monday, March 17; and at Providence St. Mel High School in Chicago, Ill., on Tuesday, March 18.

In addition, the Chapel Choir will present its annual post-tour Home Concert in Holland on Monday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church, located at 195 W. 13th St., on the corner of 13th Street and Maple Avenue.

The Symphonette Strings will perform in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina between Thursday, March 13, and Wednesday, March 19.  The ensemble will present a farewell concert in Holland on Thursday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. at Third Reformed Church, located at 111 W. 13th St.  On tour, the group will perform at St. John's Episcopal Church in Detroit on Friday, March 14, at 7 p.m.; at St. James Episcopal Church in Zanesville, Ohio, on Saturday, March 15, at 7 p.m.; at Cherokee United Methodist Church in Johnson City, Tenn., on Sunday, March 16, at 7 p.m.; at Bridge to Grace Church in Roswell, Ga., on Monday, March 17, at 7 p.m.; and at Trinity United Methodist Church in Southport, N.C., on Wednesday, March 19, at 7 p.m.

The Wind Ensemble will perform in Michigan, Ohio, New York and Massachusetts between Thursday, March 13, and Thursday, March 20.  The group will perform at Resurrection Reformed Church in Flint on Thursday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m.; at Westlake United Methodist Church in Westlake, Ohio, on Friday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m.; at Johnstown Reformed Church in Johnstown, N.Y., (a chamber/solo concert) on Sunday, March 16, at 3 p.m.; at Johnstown High School in Johnstown, N.Y., on Sunday, March 16, at 7 p.m.; and at Duxbury High School in Duxbury, Mass., on Monday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m.  The Wind Ensemble will also present daytime concerts for students at West Ottawa High School in Holland on Thursday, March 13, and at Carman Ainsworth High School in Flint on Thursday, March 20; and the ensemble will participate in a clinic with composer Dana Wilson in Ithaca, N.Y., on Saturday, March 15.

The Chapel Choir is Hope College’s premier choral ensemble.  Comprised of auditioned choristers, the choir has toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada, and has traveled abroad on eight occasions, most recently to South Africa in May 2009.  Over the years the choir has also received numerous invitations to sing at choral conferences and prestigious churches around the country.  The choir is featured along with other music ensembles in Christmas Vespers, a tradition that stretches back to 1941, and is shown on PBS stations and broadcast on radio stations around the country.  The choir is directed this year by Mark Webb, visiting professor of music.

 The Symphonette Strings are a select ensemble drawn from the college’s Symphonette, which is selected each year from the larger college symphony orchestra.  The Symphonette maintains an active performance schedule that includes the college’s annual Christmas Vespers services.  The group has toured coast-to-coast in the United States, and has also performed in two provinces in Canada, the British Isles, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.  The Symphonette has made numerous radio and television appearances, and has performed at the Music Educators National Conference and the American String Teachers National Conference.  The Symphonette is under the direction of Richard Piippo, associate professor of music and director of orchestras, who is retiring at the conclusion of the current school year after teaching at Hope since 1999.  The Symphonette Strings will be joined by soloist Linda LeFever Dykstra, a lyric soprano and associate professor of music; and organist Linda Strouf, adjunct assistant professor of music.

The Hope College Wind Ensemble is the premier wind group on the Hope campus, and performs a wide variety of music, from standard works, to cutting-edge, 20th-century works, to chamber pieces.  The Wind Ensemble performs several concerts each semester both on-campus and off-campus, including a Halloween concert and during Musical Showcase at DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids.  The Wind Ensemble is directed by Gabe Southard, associate professor of music and director of bands.