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Day
3
Month
February
Year
1990
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N O R T H F LJJ L D
M 1 N N E S o T A
U S A
Kenneth Jennings, Conductor
In Concert 1990
Top: St. Olaf Choir at Washington Memorial Monument in Philadelphia, 1920. Bottom: St. Olaf Choir, 198990.
Note: The taking of photographs and the use of recording devices are prohibited. Concertgoers are requested to check cameras, tape recorders, video cameras, and pagers. Please ask an usher for checking location.
"Great Tour East" Was First Stop on Road to National and International Recognition for the St. Olaf Choir
The world was marking the start of a new decade. Europe, having been made safe for democracy, was adjusting to a new set of borders. In the United States the Twenties were getting ready to roar. And, in Northfield, Minn., F. Melius Christiansen was plotting a route and locating sponsors in preparation for tak?ing the choir of St. Olaf College on what was to become the most impor?tant tour of its eightyear history.
By the conclusion of that 1920 tour to the great performing halls of the East Coast and the Upper Midwest, the St. Olaf Choir had established itself as one of the country's best. Its a cappella style, the religious music which it pre?sented, and the brilliance with which it sang that music gave a new dimension to choral performance and became the model upon which hundreds of vocal groups would establish programs of their own.
In January and February of this year, the St. Olaf Choir marks the 70th anniversary of that historic trip -by undertaking a tour following nearly the same route. This also marks the 22nd and final national tour for director Kenneth Jennings, who will retire at the end of the 198990 academic year.
Spreading the Word
Touring has been a part of the life of the St. Olaf Choir from its earliest days. Within only a few months of its found?ing in 1912, the Choir was performing in Chicago and at stops along the way. After less than a year and a half, it had embarked on an international tour, trav?eling by steamer to Scandinavia, where
its concerts would include a perfor?mance before Norway's king and queen.
"The Great Tour East" was, how?ever, the Choir's first real "national" tour. The crowds were small as they headed East, one of the members of the 1920 chorus recalled recently. That was "because we had not gained wide recognition yet. But on the return trip from New York, news about our earlier concerts had spread, and we sang to packed houses."
Spreading the word about the Choir were some of the nation's best music critics. Their reviews included phrases such as these:
"One of the rarest expositions of the superlative in choral singing" (Chicago HeraldExaminer);
"Such exquisite choral singing ... stands alone among the musical achievements heard here in many a day" (Chicago Evening News);
"One of the finest choral bodies ever heard in Washington" (Washington Evening Star); and
"The most remarkable musical event of the season" (Baltimore Sun).
For sheer enthusiasm, however, nothing could compete with the review in the New York Evening World:
"Like the liferestoring breeze from the Northwest that sweeps over New York at the close of a suffocating August day after a thunderstorm, the St. Olaf Choir descended upon us at a concert in Carnegie Hall and bestowed upon us in the overwrought dying music season a benison of song."
In short, the tour established the group as a major force in American
choral music, a position which it has maintained ever since.
National and World Prominence
Three factors have contributed to the continuing prominence of the St. Olaf Choir in choral music.
First is the inspired leadership of founder F. Melius Christiansen and the two gifted directors who succeeded him: his son, Olaf, who led the Choir from 1941 to 1968, and Kenneth Jen?nings, who has guided it for the past 22 years.
Second is the talent and dedication of the students who make up the Choir.
Third is the annual tour. Rooted in the success of the 1920 excursion, the annual tour has carried the St. Olaf music tradition not only to great con?cert halls, but also to hundreds of churches, community centers, and schools.
Under Jennings' direction the St. Olaf Choir has performed in all the major music centers of the United States and in many prestigious music festivals abroad. International tours in 1970, 1972, and 1980 included the Heinrich Schu'tz Festival (Holland), the Lyon (France) Festival, the Tongerin (Belgium) Festival, the Niirnberg (Germany) Orgelwoche, the Bergen (Norway) Festival, and the Strasbourg (France) International Music Festival, where Jennings conducted the opening concert of the 1972 festival -Bach's Mass in B minor -with the St. Olaf Choir, the Strasbourg Philharmonic and international soloists.
In 1975 the Choir spent the January Interim Term in Vienna and also partic?ipated, by invitation from the Vatican, in events for the Week of Christian Unity in Rome. In 1986, celebrating
the 75th anniversary of its founding, the St. Olaf Choir traveled to the Orient, performing in Japan, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. An invitation to be one of only five choirs in the world to participate in the Seoul Olympic Arts Festival in Seoul, Korea, in the summer of 1988, came as a singular honor for the Choir and its director.
This year's tour will take the group to LaCrosse and Milwaukee, Wis.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Mich.; Kitchener, Ontario; Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y.; Springfield, Mass.; New York, N.Y.; Washington, D.C.; Lewisburg and Pittsburgh, Pa.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Madison, Wis.; Chicago, 111.; and Minneapolis, Minn.
The Choir is also an integral part of the St. Olaf Christmas Festival. This program, which is also directed by Jennings, features five of the College's choirs and its symphony orchestra, and it draws more than 14,000 visitors to the campus each year. It has been taped three times by the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) for broadcast around the nation, most recently in 1989. The New York Times has called it "one of the ten Christmas events in the U.S. not to be missed."
The St. Olaf Choir also has made a number of audio recordings, many of which are available for purchase in the lobby at most concerts on the tour. They can also be ordered by writing to: St. Olaf Records, St. Olaf College Bookstore, Northfield, Minn. 55057, 5076633048.
St. Olaf College
St. Olaf, founded in 1874, is a fouryear, coeducational, liberal arts college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The mission statement of St. Olaf puts into contemporary language goals which the college has held for more than 100 years, noting that St. Olaf "provides an education committed to the liberal arts, rooted in the Christian gospel, and incorporating a global per?spective. In the conviction that life is more than a livelihood, it focuses on what is ultimately worthwhile and fos?ters the development of the whole per?son in mind, body, and spirit."
The 3,086 students of St. Olaf are drawn from nearly every state in the country and from 17 foreign countries. They enjoy a 350acre campus that is both spectacularly beautiful and equipped with stateoftheart facilities. A studentfaculty ratio of 12.6 to 1 encourages individual learning and teaching, while the diverse backgrounds of the students foster opportunities for cultural and religious expression.
It is through the St. Olaf Choir that many people hear, literally, about the College, but St. Olaf is also recognized
nationally and internationally for its programs in the sciences and mathemat?ics. The most popular major of current students is biology, with 325 majors, followed by economics (319), English (301), mathematics (298), psychology (250), music (185), chemistry (182), and political science (182). The College is also noted for an international studies program which sends hundreds of stu?dents annually to all corners of the globe. More than half of every graduat?ing class has spent some time in study abroad on a St. Olaf program.
Acclaimed Arts Program
St. Olaf holds accreditation in all four areas of the fine arts: art, dance, music, and theater.
A distinguished faculty enables the music department to offer two degrees: bachelor of music, with a major in performance, theorycomposition, church music, or music education; and bachelor of arts, with a music major program, a historyliterature or theorycomposition emphasis program, or a teaching credentials program.
It is not necessary to major in one of these areas, however, to be active in music. About onethird of all students are involved in making music -through course work, private lessons, or participation in one of the College's many ensembles. These include the St. Olaf Choir and five other choral organ?izations, the St. Olaf College Orchestra, the St. Olaf Band, and a variety of smaller ensembles. Whether as partici?pants or as enthusiastic members of the audience, St. Olaf students enjoy a rich musical environment.
(Continued, Next Page)
Excellence and Access
Just as audiences regularly applaud the excellence of St. Olaf s musical ensembles, so, too, has there been national recognition of the educational program as a whole.
The 1988 edition of The Selective Guide to Colleges (by New York Times Education Editor Edward B. Fiske) gives the College four stars for academic quality and comments that St. Olaf "provides a competitive, highquality, broadbased education in an atmosphere of concern and friendship." St. Olaf has also been singled out for its affordability: Money magazine called it "one of the 10 best buys" in college education and People magazine included it on a list of 10 "valuepacked schools."
Under the leadership of President Melvin D. George, St. Olaf has striven to strengthen its value to students and to make its programs available to all
who could benefit from them. In 198990, 54 percent of St. Olafs stu?dents received some form of financial aid; more than 14 percent of the Col?lege's budget is devoted to this impor?tant enterprise.
In order to make sure that St. Olaf is able to sustain that commitment to access, the College has embarked on a major fundraising campaign which, among other things, will increase the endowment by $17 million -with $10 million of that amount earmarked to underwrite student financial support.
5. Olaf College admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all rights, priv?ileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students. It does not discrim?inate on the basis of race, color, sex, national and ethnic origin or handicap in administration of its educational policies, financial aid program, and all other programs.
The Program
I
Hodie Christus Natus Est
Giovanni Pierluigi Palestrina 15251594 Hodie Christus natus est: Noe, Noe!
This day Christ is born: Noel, Noel! Hodie Salvator apparuit: Noe, Noe!
This day the Savior has appeared: Noel, Noel! Hodie in terra canunt Angeli,
This day the Angels sing on earth, Canut Angeli, laetantur Archangeli.
The Angels sing, and Archangels rejoice. Hodie exultant justi, dicentes:
This day the just exult, saying: Gloria in excelsis Deo. Noe, Noe!
Glory to God in the highest. Noel, Noel!
SICUT Cervus Palestrina
Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum: As the deer longs for the waterbrooks, ita desiderat anima mea ad te Deus. so longs my soul for you, O God
-Psalm 42
Without pause
Verbum Caro Factum Est Hans Leo Hassler
15641612 Verbum caro factum est,
The Word was made flesh,
et habitavit in nobis,
and dwelt among us,
et vidimus gloriam ejus,
and we beheld his glory,
gloriam quasi unigeniti a Patre,
glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
plenum gratiae et veritatis.
full of grace and truth.
-John 1:14
O Vos Omnes Juan Esquivel
c. 15631613
O vos omnes, qui transitis per viam, All ye that pass by, attendite et videte behold and see si dolor sicut dolor meus. if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow. -Lamentations 1:12
Without pause
Surrexit Pastor Bonus Orlando di Lasso
15321594 Surrexit pastor bonus,
The good shepherd has arisen,
qui animam suam posuit
who willingly laid down his life
pro ovibus suis,
that his sheep might live,
et pro grege suo
and for his flock
mori dignatus est. Alleluia.
to die was deemed worthy. Alleluia.
II
The Righteous Johann Kuhnau, 16601722 Johann Sebastian Bach, 16851750 See, the righteous must die, and there is none whose heart is moved
to feel it, and good, faithful people have been
taken hence, and no one thinks of it. These righteous people have been sent away from affliction; they that rightly and well have walked
among us
shall then be peaceful, reposing within their chambers.
?Optional
Jesus, Source of Every Blessing Bach (from Cantata 147)
Jesus, source of every blessing, Hope and joy, my heart's delight; Jesus, from all grief protect me, Through your liferedeeming might. Be my eye's bright sun and pleasure, Be my spirit's joy and treasure; Never will I let you part From my sight or from my heart.
The Holy Spirit Helpeth Us Bach
The Holy Spirit helpeth us, for we know not what we should rightly pray for: but yet the Spirit for us intercedeth with inexpressible groanings.
The searcher of hearts ever knoweth the mind dwelling in the Spirit, because the Spirit pleads for all the saints according to the will of God.
-Romans 8: 26, 27 Chorale:
O thou consoling fire, gift divine, Our joyful hearts with strength incline To serve thee ever with steadfast love, That earthly sorrow cannot move. O Lord, now let thy might prevail To gird with strength our weakness frail, That we may conquer through thee alone, Through life and death brought to thy
high throne. Hallelujah!
"Optional
in
Magnificat Jean Berger
(For Choir, Soprano, Flute, and Tambourine) b. 1909
Magnificat anima mea Dominum
My soul magnifies the Lord Et exultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo.
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae;
For God has looked with favor on this
lowly servant; Ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent
behold, from this day I will be called blessed
omnes generationem. by all generations. Quia fecit mini magna qui potens est;
The God who is mighty has done great things
for me, Et sanctum nomen eius,
and holy is the name of the Lord, Et misericordias eius a progenie timentibus eum.
whose mercy is on the Godfearing in every
generation. Fecit potentiam in brachio suo,
Strong is the arm of the Lord, Dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.
Who has scattered the proud in the arrogance
of their hearts. Deposuit potentes de sede,
God has cast down the mighty from their
thrones,
et exaltavit humiles.
and lifted up the lowly. Esurientes implevit bonis,
God has filled the hungry with good things, Et divites dimisit inanes.
And the rich sent empty away. Suscepit Israel puerum suum,
God has come to the help of Israel, the Lord's
servant, Recordatus misericorediae suae,
Remembering mercy, Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros,
Which was promised to our forebearers, Abraham et semini eius in saecula.
to Abraham and his children forever. Alleluia.
Intermission
IV
I Saw a Stranger Yestereen
(For Violin and Chorus) Jacob A vshalomov
Charles Gray, Violin, Assistant Professor b. 1919 of Music, SL Olaf College
I saw a stranger yestere'en, I put food in the eating place,
drink in the drinking place,
music in the listening place. And in the sacred name of the Triune
he blessed myself and my house,
my cattle and my dear ones. And the lark said in her song,
often goes the Christ in the stranger's guise. Bless.
-Old Gaelic Rune
Song of Cherubim Krzysztof Penderecki
(Izhe Xeruvimy) b. 1933
(Sung in Church Slavonic)
Like a choir of angels
mystically represented, Who sing to the life giving Trinity Threefold holy hymns of grateful praise, Now let us lay aside all daily cares
of this earthly life, That we may receive Thee, O King: Lord of all we receive Thee, Who comes borne by angel choirs Who sing invisibly their hymns of glory. Alleluia.
GLORIA Ralph Vaughan Williams
(from Mass in G minor) 18721958
Gloria in excelsis Deo Gloria be to God on high et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. and on earth peace to people of good will Laudamus te, benedicimus te, We praise you, we bless you, adoramus te, glorificamus te.
we adore you, we glorify you. Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam
We give thanks to you for your great glory, Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.
Lord God, heavenly king, God the Father almighty. Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe,
Lord, the only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris.
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father. Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis. You who take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.
Qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationen nostram.
You who take away the sin of the world, hear our prayer.
Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis. You who sit on the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us. Quoniam tu solus sanctus, tu solus Dominus, You alone are holy, you alone are Lord, tu solus altissimus, Jesu Christe,
You alone are most high, Jesus Christ, Cum sancto spiritu, in gloria Dei Patris. Amen with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen
V
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth
Alexander Gretchaninov 18641956
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth, Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Thine are kingdoms, thrones,
dominions, might and majesty. Thy name be hallow'd on earth
as it is hallow'd in heav'n. Thou givest strength to the weak; Thou rememb'rest the poor
and the distress'd.
And upon them that fear Thy Name Show'rs of blessings
unnumbered shall fall; Peace shall follow them; By still waters their path shall be. Sing then of mercy,
of judgment, of kingdoms, Of thrones, dominions
and pow'r for evermore. Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts; Come to us, O Lord, in splendor bright, Fill our hearts with everlasting light. Amen.
How Still He Lies Brent Pierce
How still the child lies in quiet splendor. How peacefully he lies in the manger so bare. He lies in peace while the angels in heaven sing Glory to God on the night of his birth.
Sleep on, sleep on,
O infant divine.
How quiet the night.
O sleep little child, sleep on.
O holy child, son of God, hear us praise thee. Our hearts sing with joy on this night of your
birth. How still he lies asleep.
Hacia Belen Va Un Borrico
an. Alice Parker, Robert Shaw
Towards Bethlehem goes a donkey,
I remember, I remember, laden with chocolate. It carries its chocolatepot,
I remember, I remember
I remember, yet I forget, its chocolate mill and its stove. Mary, Mary come here running, because they are eating up all the chocolate.
Inside the gate of Bethlehem
I remember, I remember, gypsies have entered; and from the child which is in the cradle the swaddling clothes have they taken. Mary, Mary, come here running, because they are seizing the swaddling clothes. Mary, Mary, come here flying, because they are carrying off the swaddling
clothes.
With a hat of straw
at the gate arrives a Galician;
while he was worshipping the Child
a calf ate his sombrero.
Mary, Mary come here running,
because the calf is eating the hat,
Mary, Mary, come here flying,
to comfort the Galician who is here crying.
Wake, Awake arr. F. Melius Christiansen
18711955
Wake, awake, for night is flying! The watchmen on the heights are crying, Awake, Jerusalem, arise! Midnight's solemn hour is tolling, His chariot wheels are nearer rolling; He comes; prepare, ye virgins wise.
Rise up with willing feet.
Go forth, the bridegroom meet,
Hallelujah!
Bear through the night your welltrimmed light, Speed forth to join the marriage rite.
Hear Thy praise, O Lord, ascending
From earth and heavenly voices, blending
With harp and lute and psaltery.
At the pearly gates in wonder
We stand and swell the voice of thunder,
In bursts of choral melody;
No vision ever brought
No ear hath ever caught
Such bliss and joy:
We raise the song, we swell the throng. To praise Thee ages all along.
Optional
Go Tell It On the Mountain
arr. Carolyn Jennings
Justice, O God Felix Mendelssohn
Beautiful Savior arr. F. Melius Christiansen
A Conversation with Kenneth Jennings
By Lois Rand
Lois Rand is a musician and writer whose husband, Dr. Sidney A. Rand, St Olafs sixth president, appointed Dr. Jennings as director of the St. Olaf Choir. She holds a B.A. in music with emphasis on conducting and an M.A. in organ, both from Colorado College. In addition to Mrs. Rand's years of profes?sional activity in conducting, teaching and writing, she is an accredited public relations consultant. While serving with her husband during his appointment as United States Ambassador to Norway, she was organist at the American Luth?eran Church in Oslo, Norway. Now liv?ing in Minneapolis, the Rands enjoy an active semiretirement and maintain close ties with St. Olaf College.
Kenneth Jennings has spent nearly his entire career at St. Olaf College. He has directed the St. Olaf Choir for 22 years following his two predecessors, F. Melius Christiansen and Olaf C. Christiansen. His career has been filled with a heavy campus schedule, regular and greatly acclaimed choir tours in the United States and abroad, and numerous guest appearances, work?shops, and residencies.
At home, too, he has been sur?rounded by music. Carolyn Jennings, pianist and composer, is a member of the St. Olaf music faculty. Their three children are musically accomplished, and two of them have sung in the St. Olaf Choir.
During Christmas vacation in this, the last year before Dr. Jennings' retirement, he reflected on his career, its commitments and its rewards.
Kenneth L. Jennings
Kenneth Jennings attended public schools in Fairfield and Westport, Conn., and grad?uated from Staples High School in Westport as salutatorian of the class of 1943. From 1944 to 1946, while stationed in Europe in the United States Army, he was a member of and soloist with the Fifth Infantry Soldier Chorus under the direction of St. Olaf grad?uate Luther Onerheim. Following military service, Jennings enrolled at St. Olaf, where he was a fouryear member of the St. Olaf Choir and tenor section leader for three years. A magna cum laude graduate of the class of 1950, he received a scholarship to Oberlin Conservatory, where he earned a Master of Music degree in composition in 1951.
From 1951 to 1953 he taught at Mitchell College in Statesville, N.C. In 1953 he was invited to return to St. Olaf as a faculty member and traveled with the St. Olaf Choir as assistant conductor on its European tour in the summer of 1955. Over a period of years, he taught voice, music
theory, music appreciation, choral literature and conducting, and directed the Manitou Singers, Viking Chorus, Chapel Choir and the college's first Campus Choir. During his years as director of the Chapel Choir he expanded the group's responsibilities to include the yearly presentation of a major work with the college orchestra.
In 1958 he began work on a doctorate at the University of Illinois. His request for a degree program in choral conducting resulted in the establishment of the university's Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) program in choral music, and he was the first student admitted into the program. His thesis, "English Festal Psalms of the 16th and 17th Centuries," is cited as a reference in three articles on psalmody and Anglican chant in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
In 1968 Jennings was appointed Director of the St. Olaf Choir. In 1970 he was pro?moted to the rank of Professor and in 1983 was named Tosdal Professor of Music.
Rand:
The St. Olaf Choir has become a tradition. As only the third director in nearly eighty years, would you com?ment on the character and continuity of this tradition
Jennings:
The Choir's format developed quickly under F. Melius and had crys?tallized by 1920. He produced a proto?type which is still viable. He was exposed as a student in Leipzig to the a cappella style of singing of the many choral societies of Europe. He was con?vinced this would be the perfect solu?tion for young American colleges with their emerging choral ensembles. Adopting the Bach choir as a model, he introduced the Bach motets, added pieces from the Russian choral school and also composed many works combining women's and men's
Through the years he has expanded the Choir's repertoire, programming new and avant garde music along with the great choral repertoire of previous centuries and occasionally adding works with instruments to the essentially a cappella program. Since 1968 Jennings has also been artistic director of the annual St. Olaf Christmas Festival, which draws more than 12,000 visitors annually. The 1976, 1983 and 1989 Christmas Festivals were telecast nationally on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). In 1970 Jennings and the St. Olaf Choir began what was to be a long collaboration with the Minnesota Orchestra. Under the direction of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski the choir performed Berlioz' Lelio, Haydn's Creation and The Seasons, the Mozart Requiem and a concert version of The Magic Flute, Bruckner's Mass in E minor, and Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe Suites, with performances in Carnegie Hall. Under the direction of Neville Marriner, they per?formed Bach's Magnificat and Handel's Coronation Anthems, with performances in
Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, William Schumann's Concerto on Old English Folktunes, and Rachmaninoff s The Bells.
Jennings has numerous compositions, arrangements and editions published by AugsburgFortress, Curtis, Hinshaw, Kjos, Schirmer, BelwinMills, and Walton, and he has been active as a guest conductor, lecturer, workshop leader and clinician throughout the United States.
His recordings include seven St. Olaf Choir recordings, of which several have received awards, and five St. Olaf Christmas Festival recordings. The St. Olaf Choir is also featured in College Choirs at Christ?mas, produced by BookoftheMonth, and in the Daphnis and Chloe Suites in the Minnesota Orchestra's recordings of the works of Ravel.
With the academic year 198990, Jennings completes 37 years of teaching and conducting at St. Olaf College.
choruses, a new idea then. Olaf used more early music, especially of sixteenth century composers, as well as Bach. I have added more contemporary works and some oratorio literature.
Rand:
What about the "St. Olaf Choir tone"
Jennings:
F. Melius classified voices according to instrumental sounds, such as strings, flutes, reeds. He liked reedy voices and believed they blended best, so he most often chose them. Olaf had a more technical way of producing a blend, involving pointed vowels and firm pitches. I use a freer, more singing style, with more flexibility. I don't use the word "blend," but rather talk about "agreement." I like to leave a little space between singers so they can be their individual selves. This produces a warmer, but still unified sound. Good
sound is the result of good singing and tasteful balances. All three of us have worked for polish and unity while approaching the challenge differently.
Rand:
You have a remarkable gift for pro?gramming. Do your programs spring from a music educator's goals or from an innate sense of juxtaposition and flow
Jennings:
Some of each. I try to give students a chance for expression appropriate to the educational setting. To plan a serious program takes a lot of time -I lie awake at night weighing choices. We need to speak intimately to those in the audience, both the untrained and the sophisticated. We need a sense of movement and a dramatic high point, but not too many highs or lows, louds or softs, lest they lose their effectiveness. I like to lighten up a bit at the end, and
I try to include one piece that's quite different and presents some challenge.
Rand:
I've noticed you often repeat certain pieces such as Bach's Singet dem Herrn, and F. Melius' Praise to the Lord and Wake, A wake.
Jennings:
Fine works offer something new every time. These pieces say something musically and spiritually. Wake, Awake has great vitality, a valuable attribute not easy to find.
Rand:
You occasionally stretch beyond a cappella to use some instruments with the voices. What prompted you to make these exceptions to tradition
Jennings:
One can narrow a tradition so much that it begins to invert on itself. Today we have very skilled instrumentalists; this contrast sets off the voices in a new way and offers wider repertoire. Broad?ening options doesn't abuse tradition, which many times was born simply of the circumstances of an earlier time.
Rand:
What mix of student talent, disci?pline, vocal training and commitment does it take to produce the Choir's con?sistently silken, seamless sound
Jennings:
The students are wonderful, brighter and more intelligent than ever. Many come to St. Olaf because of the music. We take them seriously and carry them
farther than they ever dreamed. The attitude that it's fine to put time and energy into being the best you can be flows in the bloodstream of the College. Intensive, serious, committed work is encouraged and accepted. The St. Olaf atmosphere allows the art of students to flourish.
Rand:
Would you share some "highs" from your tour memories
Jennings:
There have been an incredible number of highs. One of the greatest was the 1972 opportunity to perform Bach's Mass in B minor in the Stras?bourg cathedral with a French orches?tra and international soloists. The orchestra was rather blase at first, expecting little of a choir from Ameri?ca's hinterland. At rehearsal, when the Choir warmed up on Jesu, Meine Freude, the orchestra suddenly became very serious.
Home concerts provide incompar?able moments before very receptive audiences. People wonder how we can sing Beautiful Savior so many times, but when I reach that climax, it's a great refreshment to me.
Rand:
How do you feel about turning over the podium now to another director
Jennings:
I've had a wonderful time with many beautiful musicmaking moments. To create music with the human voice is marvelously satisfying. I have no regrets, but I'm not one to hang onto things. It's time to turn this position over, and I wish the very best to the next director.
St. Olaf Choir 198990
Soprano I
Jennifer Anderson, Rockford, III Jennifer Berg, Madison, Wis. Mary Boehlke, Rosemount, Minn. Deanna Ellis, Pine Island, Minn. Lisa Jones, Delavan, Minn. Beth Lechtenberger, Lincoln, Neb. Margaret McClure, Lewisburg, Pa. Leslie Mick, Waukesha, Wis. Kristina Swiglo, Glen Ellyn, III Sherry Wallin, Cottage Grove, Minn.
Soprano II
Maren Christenson, Moorhead, Minn. Schele Gislason, Willmar, Minn. Kristin Juel, Shoreview, Minn. Chrysanthy Maniatis, Englewood, Colo. Kama Olson, Minneapolis, Minn. Marnie Sadlowsky, New Brighton, Minn. Julianne Schuster, Marion, Iowa Kristin Vann, St. Cloud, Minn. Amy Walter, Duluth, Minn.
Alto I
Julie Buckley, Moorhead, Minn. Judith Ellwanger, Milwaukee, Wis. Michelle Matta, Northfield, Minn. Andrea Pearson, Downers Grove, III Karen Rahfeldt, Sekiu, Wash. Heather Scorgie, Libertyville, III Patricia Thompson, Springfield, Mo. Marin Tollefcon, Burnsville, Minn. Allison Wee, Northfield, Minn.
Alto II
Jane Dickinson, Wilbraham, Mass. Angela Eggert, Mankato, Minn. Marit Hedstrom, Minnetonka, Minn. Sarah Kuhlman, Decorah, Iowa Martha Kunau, Preston, Iowa Laurie Rapp, Waukesha, Wis. Jan Strand, Goodhue, Minn. Deanne Zibell, Shoreview, Minn.
Tenor I
Kelly Ammerman, Eau Claire, Wis. Jason Drabek, Bloomington, Minn. Chris Hanssen, Northfield, Minn. Kyle Moldenhauer, Twin Brooks, S.D. Geoffrey Pemble, Moorhead, Minn. Hans Peterson, St Paul Minn.
Kenneth Jennings, Director B.J. Johnson, Manager
Tenor II
Byron Almen, Minnetonka, Minn. Robert Arnold, Carlisle, Mass. Eric Bennett, Hudson, Wis. Robert Griffin, Madison, Wis. Jason Gruhl, Brainerd Minn. Ted Koland, Bloomington, Minn. Steve Odland, Luverne, Minn. John Raduege, Woodruff, Wis.
Bass I
David House, Denver, Colo. Mark Jennings, Northfield Minn. Steffen Johnson, Brainerd Minn. Jin Kim, Eagan, Minn. Matthew Maakestad, Radcliffe, Iowa Thomas Piehl, Columbus, Ohio Kurt Runnestad, Wayne, Neb.
Bass II
Eric Brandt, Hibbing, Minn. Anthony Campbell, Northfield Minn. Benjamin Fisher, Quakertown, Pa. Christopher Hellie, Benson, Minn. Mark Henning, Merrill Wis. Mark S. Johnson, A voca, Minn. Michael Johnson, Luck, Wis. Matthew Miller, Owatonna, Minn. Eric Parson, Lawrence, Kan. Bradley Sperber, Littletown, Colo. William Wilson, Duluth, Minn.
INSTRUMENTALISTS Violin
Julie Buckley, Moorhead Minn.
Sonja Gerstenkorn, Milaca, Minn.
Kama Olson, Minneapolis, Minn.
Viola
Charles Gray, Northfield Minn.
Cello
Matthew Miller, Owatonna, Minn.
Bass
Scott Jensen, Danville, Ky.
Flute
Marin Amundson, Lamberton, Minn.
Oboe
Andrea Neff, Cottage Grove, Minn.
Mamie Sadlowsky, New Brighton, Minn.
Bassoon
Andrew Kuster, New Ulm, Minn.
Continue
Byron Almen, Minnetonka, Minn.

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