(October 5, 2010)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Chorale to Perform at National Convention March 11


SHREVEPORT, La. (Centenary News Service) — Chorale, the chamber choral ensemble from the Hurley School of Music at Centenary College, has been invited to perform at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association, March 11, 2011 in Chicago, Ill.

Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Julia Thorn, Professor of Music, was selected from an extensive applicant pool of national and international choirs to sing at the prestigious event.

The ACDA holds a national biennial conference for 5,000 conductors working with choirs of all age groups in schools, churches, community and professional organizations. The conventions have been the stage for some of the world's best choral groups to share their talents with other conductors.

"The convention is a tremendous event with respect to national exposure for Centenary College," said Dr. Thorn. "The audition process is extremely competitive and the choirs that are invited to perform at this level represent outstanding achievement in choral music. This will be a wonderful opportunity for Centenary students to work to achieve the highest level of success as artists as well as be inspired by other very skilled choirs."

As a part of this convention, ACDA is inaugurating a Jewish Shabbat service to correspond with the traditional Christian service. Historically the Christian worship service has been a time for conductors to be inspired through the best of sacred choral music performed by choirs of exceptional ability. This is the first-ever such event in the history of ACDA conventions.

This convention will bring into prominence the world of Jewish sacred music as performed by Sursum Corda, a professional choir from Birmingham, Ala.; a performing arts choir from the Chicago College of Performing Art; and the Centenary Chorale from Shreveport.

During the service, each choir will perform a variety of musical styles representing all historical periods individually, singing six pieces each, and combine for several pieces together.

According to Dr. Thorn, all music will be in Hebrew and will be a challenge. "We sing in a variety of languages, but it is a challenge because it is not a language we normally sing."

Compositions chosen for the Shabbat performance were selected by Hebrew music specialists in consultation with world-renowned tenor soloist Alberto Mizrahi. Mizrahi, one of the world's leading interpreters of Jewish music, is Hazzan of the historic Anshe Emet Synagogue, located in Chicago.

"Chorale's invitation as one of the elite groups of performing choirs at the national convention is a testimony to the excellence in the teaching and performing of choral music that is prevalent in the Southern Division," said Bradley Almquist American Choral Directors Association Southern Division President.

"It's always a phenomenal opportunity to be invited to sing at this convention," added Dr. Thorn. "The opportunity to sign at this particular event is exciting because it is the first of its kind and it will showcase the talent of our Centenary Chorale to a national audience."

Founded in 1959, the American Choral Directors Association is a nonprofit music-education organization whose central purpose is to promote excellence in choral music through performance, composition, publication, research, and teaching. In addition, ACDA strives through arts advocacy to elevate choral music's position in American society and consists of choral directors who represent more than one million singers across the United States.

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and has been recognized as "One of the Best 371 Colleges" by the Princeton Review and one of "America's Best Colleges" and one of "America's Best Private Colleges" by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.