East Central Chorale 30th Anniversary Concert

The East Central Minnesota Chorale, under the direction of Mark Potvin, will celebrate its 30th anniversary year with a gala Spring Concert, Saturday, May 14, at 8 p.m., at the Richard Hardy Performing Arts Center, located at Cambridge-Isanti High School. Preceding the concert at 7 p.m., in the high school cafeteria, will be a reception, open to the public, honoring the chorale patrons, as well as past and present members of the choir.

The gala Spring Concert will feature the world premier of “Seasons of the Heart” by René Clausen, choral director and composer at Concordia College, Moorhead. This four-movement work, setting classic four classic poems (one for each season) was commissioned by the chorale to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Written for four-part choir with instrumental accompaniment, the new composition promises to be an exciting portion of the concert.

Also performing will be Unum Vox, the area high school honors choir, sponsored by the chorale.  Unum Vox will collaborate with Hispanic musician, Tony Guzman, teacher at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, who will lead them in several great selections.


Selection lineup

Music by the chorale will also feature favorite anthems from past years including “He Watching Over Israel” by Mendelssohn, “The Heavens Are Telling” by Haydn, “How Lovely Are Thy Dwelling Places” by Brahms, as well as selections from “Les Miserables.” Dennis Port will lead the chorale in Randall Thompson’s “Choose Something Like a Star” (words by Robert Frost), and David Clarke will also be present to lead the chorale in the beautiful “Pilgrim’s Hymn,” by Stephen Paulus. Former members of the chorale will be invited to join in the final anthem, the “Hallelujah Chorus,” from Messiah, by Handel.

A collection of past programs, pictures and other memorabilia will be on display.  And the newly published book by Lindsay Lee Johnson, “Thirty Seasons of Song—a History of the East Central Minnesota Chorale,” will be on sale. The beautifully written book is a brief history, with many pictures and anecdotes, of the first thirty years of the chorale’s history.

The ECMC is a civic choir representing more than 10 East Central Minnesota communities. ECMC is proud to celebrate its thirtieth concert season during 2011. The ensemble was founded and led for many years by David Clarke, Director of Music at Normandale Lutheran Church in Edina.  Dr. Dennis Port, now the conductor of the Bethel University Choir, also served as director of the chorale for six years. Mark Potvin began his tenure with the ensemble in the fall of 2007, having previously served as interim conductor in the spring of 2006.

ECMC has performed in a variety of locations across the East Central Minnesota area and in the Twin Cities. The Chorale typically presents three or four concerts each year, in which an effort is made to include music from a variety of eras, cultures, and genres. The February Scholarship concert is an annual collaboration with area high school choirs, usually presenting a major work together. This concert also includes the presentation of two music scholarships to graduating seniors who sing in an area high school choir.

Tickets for the May 14 concert are $10, available from any Chorale or Unum Vox member; also at Leader in Cambridge and K-Bob Café in Princeton.  They also will be on sale at the door.Age 17 and under get in free and do not need a ticket.

– This concert is made possible in part by funds from the East Central Regional Development Commission and East Central Arts Council as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature.