Concordia University's A Cappella choir was selected to perform at the Nebraska Music Educators Association convention in Lincoln on Friday, Nov. 19.
This was the choir’s fourth time to appear at the convention. “Every three years, a group is eligible to send in an audition tape to be considered for performance,” said conductor Dr. Kurt von Kampen, professor of music. “We’ve been chosen each time we were eligible.” Groups from across the state send in audition tapes, and a committee chooses the top groups who will be invited to perform.
Concordia's choir combined with the Fremont High School choir, conducted by Mark Harmon, to perform “With My Whole Heart: Festival Anthem for Thanksgiving.”
Harmon and von Kampen, friends by way of Nebraska music circles, had been looking for an opportunity to put their choirs together in a special way, and the NMEA conference fit the bill. “We decided that if we got chosen for the same choral event, we would commission a piece of music that both our groups could do together,” said von Kampen. “To our knowledge this has not been done before.”
Von Kampen’s oldest son, David, was commissioned to write the piece the two choirs performed. David is a graduate student in music composition at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. The text of his eight-minute piece is based on Psalm 9:1-2, Psalm 100:1-2, and selected verses of the nineteenth century English theologian and poet Henry Alford and author Wendell Berry.