Westminster Choir to Perform for the First Time at Island University

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – “Choral music is at the heart of what it means to be an American,” said Dr. Joe Miller, director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College. “Bringing our voices together and celebrating our diversity, as we become one through song, has the power to make a difference in how we see each other.”

Since 1920, Westminster Choir, based in New Jersey, has promoted America’s choral heritage and has set the standard for choral excellence. For the first time in its history, Westminster Choir, conducted by Miller, will make its Corpus Christi debut with a concert titled “Half Acre” at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re very excited to meet the people of Corpus Christi, and it is an honor to share our music with your celebrated community,” said Miller. “Texas, being a leader in choral music and music education, is a place where we feel at home.”

The program takes its title from Dan Messé’s lyrical song “Half Acre,” and includes choral masterworks ranging from Claudio Monteverdi’s “Hor che’l ciel e la terra,” to Ted Hearne’s thought-provoking “Consent,” to Ēriks Ešenvalds’ evocative “Long Road,” as well as American folk songs and spirituals.

The texts and music selected reflect the differences and commonalities of human relationships. According to Miller, the concert is based around a response to the current national and international debate on what brings humanity together and what pushes it apart.

“Love is a theme we can all understand, but it is among the most complicated of human emotions,” expressed Miller. “I looked for pieces that evoke diverse expressions. It’s my hope that the music’s breadth will combine to make a statement on how we are connected by the pursuit of love and beauty.”

The ensemble’s 2018-2019 season includes concerts in Beijing, China, Texas, Oklahoma, and at the American Choral Directors Association’s National Conference in Kansas City, as well as its annual residency at the Spoleto Festival USA. The tour also includes the release of a new recording: “Frank Martin: Mass for Double Choir.”

In addition to Miller’s responsibilities at Westminster Choir College, he serves as the artistic director for choral activities for the renowned Spoleto Festival USA and is director of the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir. His debut Spoleto performance, a staged production of John Adams’ “El Niño” with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, the Westminster Choir, and an international cast, earned critical acclaim.

Westminster Choir has been praised by The New York Times for its “full-bodied, incisive singing,” and forms the core of Westminster Symphonic Choir, which has performed and recorded with leading conductors and orchestras. To listen to a podcast of Miller previewing Westminster Choir’s tour program, click here.  

Click here to purchase tickets or call 361.825.ARTS. PAC box office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Receive. Reserved seat ticket prices range from $10 to $15. Islander student tickets are $7 with valid SandDollar$ ID.