University Choir to Perform Songs of Joy on Annual Winter Tour

  • University Choir Winter Tour
    This year's University Choir winter tour takes the ensemble to four states and eight cities, concluding with a home concert on Sunday, January 13.
  • University Choir Winter Tour
    This year's University Choir winter tour takes the ensemble to four states and eight cities, concluding with a home concert on Sunday, January 13.

Nebraska Wesleyan University’s award-winning University Choir will head south in January for its annual winter tour that will take them to four states and eight cities. 

The winter tour begins January 3 in Columbus, Neb., and concludes January 13 with a home concert in Lincoln. The 10-day tour also includes performances in Wichita, Kan., Richardson, Waco, and San Antonio, Texas; Tulsa, Okla., and Auburn, Neb.

“Much of our performance represents joy,” choir director William A. Wyman said of the 70-minute program. “The joy of Mary, the joy of dreaming, the joy of ceremonies, the joy of children playing and the joy of Christmas.”

The program includes an array of music representing the renaissance, baroque, classic, romantic and 20thcentury style periods.

Music selections will include Eric Whitacre’s “Lux Aurumque,” a Christmas piece based on a Latin poem; “Hodie” by Z. Randall Stroope, “Ride On, King Jesus” by Moses Hogan, “Shall We Dream” by Michael Atherton, “Ah, El Novio Nio Quere Dinero” by Mack Wilberg, “Lux/Light” by Nebraska Wesleyan professor and composer Boyd Bacon and “God is With Us” by John Tavener. The performance will conclude with Malcolm Sargent’s “Silent Night,” which the choir has performed on 43 consecutive winter tours. 

The Nebraska Wesleyan University Choir is a select 49-voice ensemble. Since 1977, the choir has undertaken nine foreign concert tours and two choral residencies in Hawaii in addition to annual concert tours throughout the United States. This summer the choir will take an international tour to Spain where they will perform in Barcelona, Valencia, Granada and Malaga. 

They were the first American choir to perform in universities and conservatories in Romania and the first American choir invited to participate in the St. Petersburg, Russia International Choral Festival. They have performed at Carnegie Music Hall in New York City four times in eight years and twice in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in New York.

The choir has performed with the Munich Symphony Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, and was the first collegiate choir from Nebraska selected to perform at the American Choral Directors Association National Convention.

The choir is under the direction of William A. Wyman who is in his 44thyear at Nebraska Wesleyan. He has served as a clinician or guest conductor throughout the country. His honors include the Nebraska Choral Directors Association’s “Outstanding Choral Director of the Year,” a Fulbright Scholar appointment at Seoul National University in Korea, and induction into the Nebraska Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. He has conducted performances at Carnegie Hall four times in recent years and has received the Nebraska Choral Director’s Association highest honor — the Cornell Runestad Award, which honors professionals’ commitment to their singers and artistry. In 2015, he appeared in the Festival of The Aegean in Greece where he served as Principal Guest Conductor.

All concerts on the winter tour are free-will offering.

January 3 — 7 p.m.,Columbus, Neb.,First United Methodist Church2710 14thStreet

January 4 — 7 p.m.,Wichita, Kan., West Heights United Methodist Church, 745 North Westlink Ave.

January 5 — 7:30 p.m.,Richardson, Texas,Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church3901 North Star Road

January 6 — 7 p.m.,Waco, Texas,First United Methodist Church4901 Cobbs Drive

January 8 — 7 p.m.,San Antonio, Texas,Alamo Heights United Methodist Church825 East Basse Road

January 9 — 7 p.m.,Richardson, Texas,First United Methodist Church503 North Central Expressway

January 10 — 7 p.m.,Tulsa, Okla.,St. John’s Episcopal Church4200 South Atlanta Place

January 11 — 7 p.m., Auburn, Neb., First Presbyterian Church, 1322 19thStreet

January 13 —7:30 p.m., Home concert, NWU’s O’Donnell Auditorium, 50thStreet & Huntington Ave.