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Chorale to present 'home' concert March 19

Barry McNamara
The Monmouth College Chorale, MC’s most advanced and only auditioned choral ensemble, will present a concert on March 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kasch Performance Hall of the college’s Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. The concert, which will conclude the Chorale’s 2010 Spring Tour, is free and open to the public.

Conducted by Tim Pahel, MC’s director of choral activities, the Chorale is a select 40-voice chamber ensemble composed of undergraduate students from a wide variety of academic disciplines. The Chorale’ s tour also included a concert in St. Louis and three performances in Florida.

According to Pahel, this year’s tour repertoire is “a challenging and diverse selection of music, from European sacred Latin motets, to English folk songs, to early American Shaker songs and African-American spirituals. The music is beautiful, interesting, and is sure to be entertaining for our audiences.”

Pahel, who holds a bachelor of arts degree from Lawrence University and a master of music degree from the University of Illinois, is currently finishing his doctorate at the University of Iowa, where he studied conducting with Dr. Timothy Stalter. While a student at Iowa, he conducted Camerata, one of the university’s auditioned choral ensembles.

An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Music Educators National Conference and the Illinois Music Educators Association, Pahel serves as an adjudicator for high school solo and ensemble contests and as a clinician for large group contests and festivals.

Following a 30-year hiatus, the Chorale was reestablished in the fall of 1998. Since that time, it has delighted audiences with highly successful concert tours throughout the country, performing at such notable venues as the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif., and Atlanta’s Peachtree Presbyterian Church. In 2005, the ensemble retraced the college’s Presbyterian heritage in a performance tour of Scotland.

The choral tradition at Monmouth College has a long and storied history, dating to the 1890s. Following a precedent set by instrumental groups such as the mandolin and guitar ensembles, Monmouth’s men’s and women’s glee clubs began touring the Midwest in the 1920s. Since the merger of the Monmouth Conservatory of Music with Monmouth College in the 1930s, various choral organizations have continued to tour the United States and abroad.