The Grinnell Singers, Grinnell College's premier choir, will perform in six states during a spring concert tour of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas. The concerts, which will take place from March 11-23, 2018, are free and open to the public.

The 50-voice choral ensemble is directed by John Rommereim, the Blanche Johnson Professor of Music at Grinnell College. The concert, titled "In Converse with the Stars," features distinguished choral music spanning five centuries, as well as newly composed works that speak powerfully to today's world.

Among the modern works on the program is "To the Hands" by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, a piece for choir and strings. This piece focuses on America's promise of welcome as inscribed at the Statue of Liberty, and the reality of the current refugee crisis and issues surrounding immigration. In addition, the ensemble will perform the inspiring and affirming song, "All of Us," from Craig Hella Johnson's recent Oratorio, "Considering Matthew Shepard." 

The Grinnell Singers will also perform a selection from "Words Adorned," their recent collaborative concert with the Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble of Philadelphia, and choral treasures by William Byrd, Claudio Monteverdi, Johannes Brahms, Sergei Rachmaninov, Gyorgii Sviridov, Shawn Kirchner, and Einojuhani Rautavaara.

The tour schedule is as follows:

  • Sunday, March 11, Des Moines, Iowa, 4 p.m., Plymouth United Church of Christ, 4126 Ingersoll Ave.
  • Saturday, March 17, Lawrence, Kansas, 7:30 p.m., Plymouth Church, 925 Vermont St.
  • Sunday, March 18, Kansas City, Missouri, 2 p.m., Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W. 13th St.
  • Monday, March 19, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 7:30 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, 501 S. Cincinnati Ave.
  • Tuesday, March 20, Dallas, 7:30 p.m., St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 6303 Kenwood Ave.
  • Friday, March 23, New Orleans, 7 p.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 Jackson Ave.

Known for their innovative and adventurous choral programming, the Grinnell Singers have premiered more than 20 choral works in the past 10 years under Rommereim's direction. He is active as a composer, singer and scholar whose work is centered in the areas of Russian choral music and early music performance.

Each year the choir presents concerts across the U.S., and the group has also traveled to Estonia, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey. The Singers have also been invited to perform at two regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association.

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