The Westmont College Choir and Chamber Singers will tour Southern California May 4-6, singing a diverse repertoire of classic and contemporary sacred and secular music, folk songs, spirituals and vocal jazz before traveling to Russia and Lithuania.The musicians had originally planned on touring Ukraine, but changed plans in March following Russia’s military intervention there. “At first the cancellation of the Ukraine portion of the trip was disappointing, but Lithuania is just as foreign to most of us and therefore just as exciting,” says junior Jake Elliott, choir president. “The scariest thing about the change was the absence of hosts for a group of 60 people in addition to having places to sing.”
Lithuanian Christian College International University offered housing and assisted in finding performance venues. “We are touched by their willingness to help out last minute and relieved by their enthusiasm,” Elliott says.
The college choir, under the direction of Michael Shasberger, studies and performs a wide range of literature, including the classic repertoire of the past five centuries and music of other cultures. The choir will perform works by J.S. Bach, Heinrich Schütz, Hugo Distler, Dan Forrest, William Byrd, and a number of contemporary international composers representing the countries of Lithuania, the Philippines, Russia, Tanaznia, and Ukraine.
The Chamber Singers, under the direction of Grey Brothers, will present sacred and secular music of the Renaissance by Adrian Batten, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Claudio Monteverdi. The group will also perform a variety of sacred and secular music of the 20th and 21st centuries, including works by Francis Poulenc and recent compositions by Westmont alumni. The ensemble will feature music composed in North America in works by William Billings, music of the California missions, arrangements of American folk songs and African-American spirituals.
Within the past five years, the college choir and chamber singers have toured in Coast Rica, Guatemala, England, Scotland, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, the Pacific Northwest and Southern California.
Admission to all the events is free with a free-will offering taken during the program.
Performance Dates and Locations:
- Sunday, May 4, 5 p.m. (Church Service) Westmont Choir will perform as part of the evening church service at First Ukrainian Baptist Church of Santa Barbara, 150 Pebble Hill Pl. Santa Barbara, Calif.
- Monday, May 5, 6:30 p.m. (Concert)
St. John’s Lutheran Church, 959 Valley Rd, Arroyo Grande, Calif.
- Tuesday, May 6, 6 p.m. (Concert)
Santa Ynez Presbyterian Church, 1825 Alamo Pintado Rd, Solvang, Calif.
- Wednesday, May 7 (Flight to Lithuania and Russia)