Westminster Schola Cantorum, conducted by James Jordan, will present a concert titled “Journeys” on Sunday, March 16 at 7 p.m. in St. James’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Va. Admission is free.
The program will feature Paul Mealor’s powerful Stabat Mater, as well as works by John Tavener, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Josef Rheinberger, Brandon Waddles and John Rutter. Welsh composer Mealor earned international attention when his motet, a setting of Ubi Caritas et Amor, was commissioned by Britain’s Prince William for his marriage to Catherine Middleton and sung by the Choirs of Westminster Abbey.
Composed of students in their second year of study at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., Westminster Schola Cantorum is one of three curricular choirs that form the core of the Westminster experience. The Choir prepares students for the Westminster Symphonic Choir, which performs and records with the world’s great orchestras. Unique to the experience of Schola Cantorum is the performance and study of a major choral work, which this season is Paul Mealor’s Stabat Mater. Previous seasons have included performances of Benjamin Britten’s St. Nicolas Cantata, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem. In addition to this concert, which is part of the its concert tour of Virginia and North Carolina, the ensemble’s 2013-2014 season includes the annual Evening of Readings and Carols performance and broadcast and concerts at its home in Princeton.
James Jordan is recognized and praised around the musical world as one of the nation’s pre-eminent conductors, writers and innovators in choral music. The author of more than 30 books and DVDs on all aspects of the choral art, he has been described as a “visionary” by The Choral Journal. Gramophone hailed him as a conductor of “forceful and intimate choral artistry.” The American Record Guide has praised his recordings as “without peer.” His career and publications have been devoted to innovative educational changes in the choral art, which have been embraced around the world. His book Evoking Sound was named as a “must read” on a list of six books by The Choral Journal. Dr. Jordan is professor and senior conductor at Westminster Choir College, where he conducts Westminster Schola Cantorum and the Westminster Williamson Voices. He has made two recordings of the music of James Whitbourn with the Westminster Williamson Voices on the Naxos label. Living Voices was described as “superb” by Gramophone. Annelies, the first major choral setting of The Diary of Anne Frank, was nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award as the Best Choral Recording.