World premiere, social justice highlight Linfield choral concert

Professor Andrea ReinkemeyerA world premiere will highlight the Linfield College fall choir concert, “When Justice Reigns,” on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 4 p.m. in the Richard and Lucille Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall.

The evening will feature debut performances by three campus vocal ensembles – the Linfield Concert Choir, Women’s Vocal Ensemble and Wildcat Men’s Glee Club. Together, they will present a program centered around issues of social justice and peace.

The centerpiece of the concert will be the world premiere of “When Justice Reigns,” a new choral work by Andrea Reinkemeyer, Linfield assistant professor of music composition and theory, commissioned by the Lacroute Arts Series. The work puts to music the poetry of Janine Applegate, a 1970 Linfield alumna and published lyricist, who has a history of creating works with a social theme. The eclectic program will also include music by Felix Mendelssohn, William Byrd, Stephen Foster, Alice Parker, Moira Smiley and others.

As a composer, Reinkemeyer explores the intersection of the visual, aural and natural worlds through music.

“One of the mystifying aspects of music is its ability to elicit deep emotional responses through the manipulation of noise and time,” said Reinkemeyer. “I use the aural world to explore my interests in natural phenomena. I’m absolutely fascinated by patterns, color, texture and unfolding natural processes; I try to incorporate these ideas into my music.”

While composing specifically for the Linfield choir, Reinkemeyer kept the student performers in mind. And though she composed this new piece in a month, she says the process behind the song was much longer.

“Composers,” she said, “are thinking about music even if they’re not actively focused on putting notes on the page.”

The process also includes room for whimsy.

“Improvisation is a great tool of discovery for me; it gives me a chance to uncover the personality of the piece and think about the processes I will use to realize it fully,” she said. “After that, I start notating pitches and gestures and the piece is slowly constructed. Composing a song can be a little different because they are guided by text.”

Reinkemeyer brings her knowledge of composition to the Linfield classroom, sharing with students the process of discovery that accompanies compositional writing.

“Students must be able to hear and identify what is going on, recognize the concepts in the score and creatively demonstrate their understanding of the materials through composition,” she explained. “Knowing intimately the many difficulties that may arise with the creative process helps me to craft exercises for the students and to ask students questions that will help them make their own discoveries.”

Reinkemeyer’s music has been performed both nationally and internationally, by the American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, New York’s North-South Chamber Orchestra, the University of Oregon Wind Ensemble and University Singers and others. She earned degrees in music composition from the University of Michigan and the University of Oregon.

The concert will be directed by Anna Song, associate professor of music and director of choral activities at Linfield. Song graduated with a bachelor’s in composition from UCLA and earned a master of music in conducting from the School of Music and the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University. She recently completed her doctoral studies in music education from Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to teaching at Linfield, she is co-founder and artistic director of In Mulieribus, a professional women’s ensemble in Portland that focuses primarily on the performance of music written before 1750.

The concert is free, open to the public and sponsored by the Linfield College Department of Music. For more information, contact the Linfield Music Department at 503-883-2275 or visit