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Lenoir-Rhyne University's A Cappella Choir and Brass Ensemble head south for spring tour

Lenoir-Rhyne University's A Cappella Choir and Brass Ensemble head south for spring tour
Lenoir-Rhyne University's A Cappella Choir and Brass Ensemble head south for spring tour

The Lenoir-Rhyne University A Cappella Choir and Brass Ensemble are pleased to announce their annual spring tour, March 7-15, 2018, with performances in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

A pre-tour performance will take place on Sunday, March 4 at Unity Lutheran Church in Hickory. This performance will open the Unity and Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Churches' Arts and Outreach Concert Series and include information and testimonials from the Safe Harbor Rescue Mission. A post-tour Homecoming concert will take place on Sunday, March 25 in LR's Grace Chapel.

The program will feature choral, organ, and brass music of a variety of time periods and styles, including music by Giovanni Gabrieli, William Byrd, F. Melius Christiansen, Craig Hella Johnson, Michael John Trotta, and James Gossler.

The LR A Cappella Choir is directed by Ryan Luhrs, Ph.D., assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, accompanied by Jeana Neal Borman, staff accompanist and music instructor. Christopher Nigrelli, Ph.D., professor of music, conducts the LR Brass Ensemble.

In addition to concerts and worship participation in Lutheran churches, the LR ensembles will perform a joint concert with the Florida State University Singers at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla. on March 11. Luhrs said this particular event is meaningful to him.

"The current director of the FSU University Singers was one of my teachers at when I completed my doctoral work," Luhrs said. "I was a graduate assistant and member of this ensemble from 2013 to 2014."

The concert, which takes place at Stetson University, also holds significance to Luhrs. "The current Stetson University choir director was my choir director when I was a student at Luther College from 2000 to 2004," Luhrs stated. "This concert is certainly a collision of worlds for me."


Pre-tour performance:

Sunday, March 4, 2018, 3 p.m. – Unity Lutheran Church, Hickory, N.C.

Tour performances:

Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 7 p.m. – Grace Lutheran Church, Rock Hill, S.C. (participation in Lenten service)

Thursday, March 8, 2018, 7 p.m. – Lutheran Church of the Ascension, Savannah, Ga.

Friday, March 9, 2018, 7 p.m. – Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Vero Beach, Fla.

Saturday, March 10, 2018, 7 p.m. – Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Tampa, Fla.

Sunday, March 11, 2018 – Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Tampa, Fla. (participation in morning worship services)

Sunday, March 11, 2018, 7:30 p.m. – Lee Chapel, Stetson University, DeLand, Fla. (joint concert with Florida State University Singers)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 7:30 p.m. – Grace Lutheran Church, Tallahassee, Fla.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 6:30 p.m. – Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, Peachtree City, Ga.

Thursday, March 15, 2018, 7 p.m. – St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Asheville, N.C.

Post-tour homecoming concert:

Sunday, March 25, 2018, 3 p.m. – LR Grace Chapel, Hickory, N.C.

All performances are free and open to the public. No tickets are required, although a free-will offering will be received. To learn more, visit lr.edu/publicevents or contact Luhrs at 828.328.7149 or ryan.luhrs@lr.edu.


About Lenoir-Rhyne University A Cappella Choir:

Founded in 1935 by St. Olaf Choir alumnus Kenneth Lee, the LR A Cappella Choir has toured throughout the United States and abroad, including a 2015 music-mission trip to Costa Rica. The choir has performed at the installations of two national Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) bishops and for the 200th Anniversary of the North Carolina Synod. In September 2017, the choir participated in a worship event commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in Charlotte led by ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton.

About Lenoir-Rhyne University Brass Ensemble

The LR Brass Ensemble frequently performs in area churches, formal recitals, campus functions, department-sponsored hymn festivals, and with the A Cappella Choir. The ensemble performs literature of all style periods and in a wide variety of genres.

About Ryan Luhrs:

Ryan Luhrs, Ph.D., joined LR in the fall of 2016 as assistant professor of music and director of choral activities. He directs the LR A Cappella Choir and College Singers, coordinates the Sacred Music Program, and mentors choral music education students. Prior to LR, Luhrs served as assistant professor of music at Andrew College, in Cuthbert, Ga, where he oversaw the music program and directed the college's flagship choral ensemble. He has a doctorate in choral conducting and music education from Florida State University, a master's degree in sacred music from Luther Seminary (with St. Olaf College), and a bachelor's degree in music from Luther College.

About Christopher Nigrelli:

Christopher Nigrelli, Ph.D., professor of music, joined LR in 1997. He teaches music history, applied brass lessons in trombone, euphonium, brass ensemble, and jazz ensemble. He served as coordinator of the music program from 2008 to 2013, and maintains his role as coordinator of music education. Nigrelli is the camp director for LR Summer Youth Music, which will be in its sixth year in 2018. He regularly conducts jazz and concert band clinics and brass master classes throughout the region. Nigrelli received his doctorate in musical arts from the University of Illinois and his Master of Arts in music at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He completed his bachelor's degree in music education at Western Michigan University.