Nebraska Wesleyan University’s award-winning University Choir will travel to North Carolina and South Carolina for its annual winter tour.
The tour, which begins January 3 in Charlotte, N.C., and concludes January 12 in Lincoln, Neb., includes nine stops and a featured performance at the National Conference on Sacred Music in Charleston, S.C.
The program, “Can We Sing the Darkness to Light?” will include music by Henry Purcell, J.S. Bach, Jonathan Dove, Moses Hogan, Kyle Pederson and Shawn Kirchner. Highlights will include a regional premier of NWU conductor Tom Trenney’s “Love Can Mend a Broken World,” and Grammy-nominated composer Jake Runestad’s award-winning “A Silence Haunts Me,” which shares the heartbreaking yet inspirational story of Beethoven’s response to his hearing loss. Nationally-celebrated concert pianist, organist and composer Anne Wilson will serve as accompanist.
“‘Can We Sing the Darkness to Light’ became a rhetorical question to the students as we prepared this music and lived into its meaning,” said Trenney, visiting assistant professor and conductor of choirs at Nebraska Wesleyan. “We hope our music itself may indeed inspire hope in those who come in need of some light. But we also hope that by experiencing the spiritual power of this music and its message, we may encourage our audiences to go from the concert hall into the world inspired and strengthened to bring their light to give and love and serve.”
The University Choir is one of four choral ensembles at Nebraska Wesleyan University. In addition to regional tours, the choir has performed 10 foreign concert tours, most recently to Spain last summer. They have performed at Carnegie Music Hall in New York City four times and twice at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. The choir performs frequently with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra and Omaha Symphony Orchestra.
Trenney is a nationally-known conductor, composer, organist, and clinician, He is in his 11th season as minister of music to First-Plymouth Church, where he shepherds three adult choirs, accompanies the congregation on the Lied organ, preaches sermons, and serves as artistic director of the Abendmusik Concert Series. Trenney’s choirs have sung for state, regional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association.
All concerts are free-will offering to benefit the music and outreach of Nebraska Wesleyan University’s choirs.
The tour includes:
- January 3 — 7:30 p.m., Charlotte, N.C., Providence United Methodist Church, 2810 Providence Rd.
- January 4 — 7:30 p.m., Davidson, N.C., Davidson United Methodist Church, 233 South Main Street
- January 5 — 7 p.m. , Asheville, N.C., First Presbyterian Church, 40 Church Street
- January 6 — 7:30 p.m., Greenville, N.C., First Presbyterian Church, 1400 South Elm Street
- January 7 — 7 p.m., Hilton Head Island, S.C., First Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Parkway
- January 9 — 7:30 p.m., Columbia, S.C., Shandon Presbyterian Church, 607 Woodrow Street
- January 10 — 5 p.m., Charleston, S.C., St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 405 King Street
- January 12 — 3 p.m., Lincoln, Neb., First-Plymouth Congregational Church, 2000 D. Street. The Lincoln Southwest High School Choir will join the University Choir for its home concert.