TWU Concert Choir breaks out onto the main stage at national ACDA conference
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The TWU Concert Choir, conducted by Joni Jensen, DMA, professor of voice and director of choral activities, presented a 30-minute program twice at the 2019 American Choral Director's Association (ACDA) 60th Anniversary Jubilee National Conference Friday, March 1, 2019. The conference was held at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center in downtown Kansas City.
The invitation to perform was a rare honor, with more than 225 choirs auditioning for 27 conference spots, chosen via a blind, multi-level jury process. "This is the premier conference for not only choral directors in the U.S., but also many international choral directors. I’ve attended the conference since the beginning of my career, and it’s always been a dream of mine to conduct the TWU Concert Choir on this stage. So, for me, it was literally a dream come true," said Jensen, who has been directing the TWU Concert Choir since she arrived at TWU in 2005.
The seven-piece program, which received standing ovations at both performances, was titled, "Despite All." "We wanted to take the audience on an unexpected journey, and we took a risk by delving into darker territory. We explored loneliness and guilt with a strong centerpiece by our own Paul Thomas, followed by the "Out Damn Spot," which is as dark as it gets," said Jensen. The soliloquy was followed by two pieces with unique vocal styles, a Norwegian Yoiking piece and a Bulgarian piece that is well-known for being performed by women. The program ended with a piece written by Jensen and set to an Irish folk tune, titled "Turning."
"This was truly a landmark experience for all of our members, who were able to see the high caliber they are being associated with, and to realize how far they’ve come- shoulder to shoulder with best choirs, receiving standing ovations. This event legitimizes all the hard work we’ve done. We’ve been stretching our way forward and have finally broken out onto the main stage," said Jensen.
The choir also presented a preview performance in Fort Worth on February 21 and recruiting performances in Texas and Oklahoma along the route to Kansas City.
ACDA is the premier choral organization in the nation. It produces a highly respected publication, The Choral Journal, provides leadership and scholarship opportunities, sets repertoire and research standards, and oversees state and regional chapters each with their own respective conferences.
Page last updated 1:44 PM, October 19, 2020