Plans for a 70th Anniversary Reunion for the University Singers are Underway


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Plans are currently underway for a fun- and music-filled reunion celebrating the 70th anniversary of the University Singers, FSU’s premier undergraduate, auditioned choral ensemble. Alumni from the choir are cordially invited to campus for the weekend of April 13-14, 2018, to join the festivities, which will culminate in a concert in Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Dr. Kevin Fenton, who currently conducts the University Singers, notes, “There is a sense of community created each year through rehearsals, retreats, and tours, and the shared experiences bring the generations together—and the traditions bring back memories and reignite passion in the choral art.”  

Touring, retreats, and outreach continue to be an important part of the experience of being in University Singers. “During the past 7 years, the choir has performed in several collaborative concerts with University and church choirs and they have been a very important part of the AVoice4Peace movement,” Fenton said. “We have planned a tour to Puerto Rico for spring 2018, where we will sing with University of Puerto Rico-Arecibo—this will be the third time in 5 years we have performed together. This year, we hope to bring support for them as they deal with the devastation caused by hurricane Maria.” The 70th reunion will provide opportunities for students and alumni to rehearse and sing together and to share about their individual experiences on those tours and retreats from years past. The ensuing cross-generational comradery is sure to be remembered for years to come and will help to fortify the choral group’s strong sense of community as it starts its eighth decade. 

Over the weekend, current members of the University Singers will perform pieces from their tour repertoire, while members of the alumni choir will perform music drawn from the history of the University Singers, selected by Dr. Andre Thomas and Dr. Fenton. The final concert will conclude with a combined performance of the Zulu Peace Hymn Ukuthula, a piece the University Singers has shared with audiences and choirs the past seven years.  

More information about the weekend and the alumni registration form are available by following this link. You can also find more information by on the “Camps & Festivals” button on the College of Music’s homepage. (You may need to scroll through the carousel of festivals and camps to locate the reunion.) Attendees can also follow the reunion Facebook page, and they are urged to help communicate this wonderful opportunity to their FSU alumni friends and colleagues. 

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The University Singers’ tour repertoire for the year includes:

The Armed Man: A Peace Mass, by Karl Jenkins

Lobet den herrn, alle Heiden, by J.S. Bach

Christi Mutter, by Randall Stroope

All Works of Love, by Joan Szymko

Kwa Wote Upendo, by Julian Philip Reisenthel

Stone, by Jacob Narverud and Ryan Main

Let My Love Be Heard, by Jake Runestad

Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Jake Runestad

So I’ll Sing with My Voice, by Dominick Argento

Sizongena, by Mzilikazi Khumalo (arr. Andre van der Merwe)   

Ukuthula


About University Singers

Founded in 1948 by Dr. Wiley Housewright, the University Singers is the premier undergraduate auditioned choir at Florida State University. The choir is composed of undergraduate students including those majoring in music and the other degree programs offered by the many academic units making up The Florida State University. During its rich history, the University Singers has performed with such remarkable musicians as Sir David Willcocks (2002), Aaron Copland, Norman Dello Joio, Billy Taylor (2000), and the esteemed Atlanta Symphony Conductor Robert Shaw, who continued to conduct concerts with the University Singers into his eighties. Additionally, during the past five years, the University Singers has been invited to perform national and regional conventions of the Music Educators National Conference and the American Choral Directors Association.

Throughout its seventy year history, several distinguished conductors have lead the University Singers, including Walter James, Joseph Flummerfelt, Clayton Krehbiel and André Thomas. Today, the traditions founded by these outstanding conductors has been passed to the current conductor, Kevin Fenton.


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