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Choirs from Queens and Denmark collaborate for 9/11 concert
by Philip Skabeikis for Vocal Area Network
Posted August 30, 2005

Music Students' Chamber Choir of Aalborg UniversityVocal Area Network's contribution to the metropolitan area's choral community cannot be overstated. The feedback and testimonials posted on the site give only a hint of how collaboration above all has been fostered through the VAN forum. The Information Exchange pages of VAN facilitated just such an engagement of singers and marriage of resources just a few months ago.

In May 2005, the Music Students' Chamber Choir of Aalborg University in Denmark posted an item announcing their concert tour to New York City and Boston (Sepember 7-16). They were looking for concert venues and for chances to work with other choirs. Joseph Kubler, the organist and music director of the Concert Choir of St. Matthias RC Church in Ridgewood, Queens saw the item and immediately invited them to join in St. Matthias' Fourth Annual 9/11 Memorial Concert. Broad issues and final details were agreed upon within a matter of only six weeks via e-mail.

The collaboration will be realized on Sunday, September 11, 2005 at 6:30 PM at St. Matthias RC Church, 58-15 Catalpa Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens. The St. Matthias Concert Choir under the direction of Joseph Kubler will perform Villette's Motet O Quam Amabilis Es and the "Agnus Dei" and "Dona Nobis Pacem" from the Bach Mass in B Minor. In keeping with their tour's primary mission--to bring Danish and Nordic choral music to new audiences in the United States--the Music Students' Chamber Choir directed by Mogens Dahl will perform a cappella works by Bo Holten, Carl Nielsen, Niels la Cour and Danish-American Morten Lauridsen, in addition to selections from Ildebrando Pizzetti's Missa di Requiem. Mr. Dahl will lead the combined forces of St. Matthias Concert Choir and the Aalborg Student's Chamber Choir in three movements from the Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem.

St. Matthias Choir has been providing music for regular services, special occasions, festive concerts and educational outreach for nearly a century. Under the leadership of Joseph Kubler, it has become especially known for its annual Lessons and Carols service on the first Sunday of Advent and most recently its Annual 9/11 Memorial Concerts. It performed the Mozart Requiem in 2004 with the Sacred Music Chorale of Richmond Hill and the Astoria Symphony Orchestra. Its repertoire spans the choral legacy of medieval chant to contemporary works.

The Music Students' Chamber Choir of Aalborg was founded in 1995 and quickly made a commitment to high performance standards and the championing of contemporary Nordic choral music. It has premiered works by Per Skriver, Anna Cederberg-Oreeteg, Martine Palsmar and Sven Nielsen. The choristers have been ambassadors for Danish choral music via tours to Japan, France, Israel, the Faroe Islands and Iceland, Oslo and Barcelona.

Its music director, Mogens Dahl, has been guest director/conductor of chamber choirs, regional orchestras and radio and stage productions throughout Scandinavia. He has an MA in Music from Aarhus University and Masters of Conducting from the Royal Academy of Music Aarhus. He founded the famous Jutland Chamber Choir in 1982, which has won numerous competitions and awards under his leadership.

VAN readers are cordially invited to attend this pre-eminent 9/11 musical memorial and hear these wonderfully talented young voices. Admission is free. For further information, call (718) 821-6447 or e-mail Philip.skabeikis@ssa.gov.

Philip Skabeikis sings with the Choir of St. Matthias RC Church in Ridgewood and with the Sacred Music Chorale of Richmond Hill. This is his first article for Vocal Area Network.

Content Contact: Philip Skabeikis.
Revision Date: August 30, 2005.
Technical Contact: Steve Friedman.

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