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Choir presents world premiere by British composer

Linfield choirThe world premiere of a new choral work will highlight the Linfield College spring choral concert, “Sure on this Shining Night,” Sunday, May 4, at 4 p.m. in the Richard and Lucille Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall at Linfield. A pre-concert talk with the composer will be held at 3 p.m., also in Ice Auditorium.

The choir will perform the world premiere of “Our Flags Are Wafting in Hope and Grief,” a new choral work by celebrated British composer Gabriel Jackson. This work was commissioned for the Linfield College Concert Choir with support from the Lacroute Arts Series, highlighting the powerful relationship between the arts and social change. The text is a poem by Estonian poet Doris Kareva that deals with the singing revolution in the Baltic States where choral singing and music played a key role in cementing national identity and served as a vehicle for resistance to the Soviet occupation.

Jackson will be in residence at Linfield for one week prior to the premiere. He will attend rehearsals, visit classes and work closely with music students and other students across campus. In addition to the new work, the Concert Choir, the Wildcat Men’s Glee Club and the Women’s Vocal Ensemble will present music by Morten Lauridsen, Sydney Guillaume and Veljo Tormis, as well as the world premiere of “Dirge in Woods,” a new work by Linfield senior Yucheng Zhang. Linfield professors Anna Song and Chris Engbretson will conduct the choirs.

Born in Bermuda, British composer Gabriel Jackson studied composition at the Royal College of Music and was awarded the R.O. Morris Prize for Composition, the Theodore Holland Award and an Arts Council Bursary. Particularly acclaimed for his choral works, Jackson’s liturgical pieces are in the repertoires of many of Britain’s leading cathedral and collegiate choirs. In 2003 he won the liturgical category at the inaugural British Composer Awards and won a second award, in the choral category, in 2009. Since 2010 Gabriel Jackson has been associate composer to the BBC Singers, resulting in a series of substantial commissions, including “In Nomine Domini” for the 2010 BBC Proms and “Airplane Cantata” for choir and pianola. Other recent commissions include “The Glory of the Lord,” written for the Papal visit to Westminster Abbey in September 2010, a new work to mark the Tallis Scholars’ 40th anniversary, and, for Easter 2013, a full-length Passion for the Choir of Merton College, Oxford.

The Lacroute Arts Series at Linfield College is made possible by the generosity of Ronni Lacroute, Linfield College trustee and arts benefactor. The series, sponsored by the Lacroute Arts Fund at Linfield College, is dedicated to helping the college present art events and activities for the campus and community. It provides programs featuring artists in the areas of music, art and visual culture, and theatre and communication arts.

For more information, call 503-883-2275 or visit www.linfield.edu/arts.