(July 7, 2014)

Centenary's Camerata season around the corner

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary's Camerata season is right around the corner, and Visiting Assistant Professor, Dr. Cory Wikan, is excited about the group's planned performances and outreach.

Cory Wikan
Dr. Cory Wikan

"Camerata continues to build on its tradition of choral excellence," said Wikan. "In the fall of 2014, we will perform the first part of Handel's Messiah with orchestra and professional soloists."

The Camerata group also has the opportunity to participate in the yearly Centenary Choral Festival this February, where Centenary students will mentor local high school choirs preparing for competition.

"Dr. Hobson, Dr. Odom, and I work annually to invite local schools to the campus, most of which have choral programs led by Centenary alumni," said Wikan. "The goal of our choral festival is to assist each choir in preparing for the annual Louisiana Music Educators Association Festival, at which judges rate various aspects of each choir's performance. The Centenary Choral Festival culminates in a wonderful performance where each ensemble presents its selections. We also combine all of the choirs, including Centenary's two choirs—Centenary College Choir and Camerata—for a mass performance of selected works."

A number of the choral directors in the area are pursing the new Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) K-12 Choral Music Education degree at Centenary. The program also offers licensure to teach music in the Louisiana Public Schools.

"Fostering music teachers is an important part of the Hurley School of Music's mission," said Wikan.

Wikan recently completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting at Boston University in May 2014 where he studied under Dr. Ann Howard Jones, a leading national and international choral figure. In addition to Wikan's three years of coursework, he prepared and conducted two doctoral recitals and researched and wrote a dissertation entitled, "Robert Shaw and the Brahms Requiem, op. 45: A Conductor's Approach to Performing a Masterpiece." He is currently pursuing publication of the dissertation.

Wikan also holds a MM degree in vocal performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a BA in vocal performance and music education from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

"I believe Centenary's choral program is a peer to some of the finest choral programs around," said Wikan. "I am honored to be a part."

Founded in 1983, Camerata is the primary academic choral ensemble from the Hurley School of Music. This group of 40 singers is dedicated to performing choral repertoire from all historical periods to the highest musical standards. The composition of the group is primarily voice majors, though membership is open to all Centenary students by audition.