Noted choir to perform here

The world-renowned Westminster Choir, conducted by Joe Miller, will perform at La Cañada Presbyterian Church in La Cañada at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15.

The concert is presented as part of the ensemble’s 2010 California tour.

The concert program, titled “Flower of Beauty,” will feature works from the ensemble’s recently released recording of the same name, including James Erb’s arrangement of “Shenandoah,” Dominick Argento’s “So I’ll Sing with My Voice” and John Clements’ “Flower of Beauty.”

A highlight will be Paul Crabtree’s “Meanwhile,” which was written to commemorate the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. This powerful setting of a portion of Simon Armitage’s poem, “Killing Time,” uses the images of flowers to contrast with the horror of that tragic event.

The choir will also perform “Trois Chansons Bretonnes” by Henk Badings, three beautiful works for piano and chorus that take the listener into the dream world with rich settings, and Stephen Leek’s “Knowee,” which reflects the Great South Land of Australia.

The 89-year-old Westminster Choir is composed of students at Westminster Choir College, a division of Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts, in Princeton, N.J. It has been the chorus-in-residence for the Spoleto Festival USA since 1977, performing both in concert and as the opera chorus.

In addition to this concert, the ensemble’s 2009-2010 season includes a performance of Bach masterworks with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, conducted by Helmuth Rilling, at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, performances at its home in Princeton and in Newark, N.J., and a series of concerts at the Spoleto Festival USA.

Its first recording with Maestro Miller, Flower of Beauty, was released in September.

Praised by The New York Times for its “full-bodied, incisive singing,” the Westminster Choir also forms the core of the Westminster Symphonic Choir.

The Symphonic Choir’s 2009-2010 performances include Mahler’s “Symphony No. 3” with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert, John Adams’ “El Niño” with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by the composer, Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by Sir Roger Norrington and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” with the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.

Tickets for this concert are $10 for adults and $5 for students with school identification card and are only available for purchase at the door prior to the concert.

La Cañada Presbyterian Church is located at 626 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge.

For more information contact Lindi Dreibelbis Arthur at

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