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EC choirs to perform in three Midwestern cities as part of 2016 choir tour

November 30, 2015

Earlhamites will perform songs across the Midwest inspired by themes of winter and nostalgia as part of the 2016 Choir Tour.

A preview concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 at Lingle Recital Hall at Earlham’s Center for Visual and Performing Arts. The three-city tour begins in Cincinnati on Jan. 7 and continues in Indianapolis (Jan. 8) and Chicago (Jan. 9).

Earlham -choir -tour -bThe free concerts will be performed by about 55 singers and instrumentalists and are open to the public, Associate Professor of Music Bill Culverhouse says.

“The biennial Choir Tour is a fantastic opportunity for Earlham singers to grow as musicians, colleagues, and friends in the process of preparing for major public performances in inspiring venues across the country,” Culverhouse says. “Readying a performance tour brings the students' musical accomplishments to a new level of polish, and requires hard work, teamwork, flexibility, and leadership.

“This tour allows us to reach out to prospective students and offer them a snapshot of Earlham at its best, as well as allowing us to maintain ties with alumni in major cities,” he says.

The Earlham Women's Chorus opens the concert with a selection of seasonal and Christmas settings, including several from Eastern Europe. Selections include pieces by female composers including Joan Szymko, Abbie Betinis and Jocelyn Hagen, which celebrate the power of nature and the banishment of winter for the eternal promise of spring. The choir also will feature a setting of the well known Ukranian bell carol as well as Christmas texts on the Virgin Mary. 

The Madrigal Singers explore winter as a metaphor for the human experience of war in Francis Poulenc's “Un Soir de Neige,” followed by several settings of Arabic folksongs reflecting on the notion of beauty, providence, home, and love.

The Concert Choir returns to the idea of providence in Jean Berger's “The Eyes of All,” and to the human response to war in Mari Valverde's “Prayer of St. Francis,” before developing the themes of winter and love in Valverde's setting of Pablo Neruda's “La Rama Robada,” and Morten Lauridsen's settings of Robert Graves' “Midwinter Songs."

Finally, the choirs combine to offer two reflections from Latvia on the eternity of beauty and love in Eriks Esenvalds' setting of Sara Teasdale's “Stars” and Valts Puce's joyous depiction of the midsummer night celebration, before closing with Professor Emeritus of Music Dan Graves' beloved setting of the Quaker hymn “How Can I Keep from Singing.”

Eric Nicholson ’16 is participating in his second choir tour after travelling with the choir in 2013 to New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

“The choir is a great community to be a part of, and the tour is valuable experience, to perform for new audiences,” says Eric Nicholson ’16. “There’s also a lot of professionalism involved.”

For more information about the tour, visit


Thursday, January 7, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

Cincinnati Christ Church Cathedral
318 East 4th Street
Cincinnati, Ohio

Reception to follow.


Friday, January 8, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

Indianapolis First Friends Meeting
3030 Kessler Boulevard East
Indianapolis, Indiana

Reception to follow:

Parking info:
Available next to Meeting House


Saturday, January 9, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

Lake Street Church of Evanston
607 Lake Street
Evanston, Illinois

Reception to follow.

Parking info:


— EC —

Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at (765) 983-1256 and



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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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