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Westminster Choir Concerts 

When: Sat., June 5, 5 p.m. and Thu., June 10, 5 p.m. 2010
Price: $25-$37
www.spoletousa.org

Renowned for the purity and beauty of their sound, the much-vaunted Westminster Choir will offer two performances conducted by Joe Miller, Director of Choral Activities at Westminster Choir College. The repertoire will include such composers as Henk Badings and Stephen Leek along with selections from the choir’s recently released CD Flower of Beauty. Presented by Spoleto Festival USA.

Choral heaven
One of the main reasons Chucktown is so choral-savvy is because this world-renowned choir has been spoiling it rotten for more than three decades of Spoleto Festival USAs. For well-nigh a century now, this gaggle of glorious singers has been the gold standard among American academic choirs. In addition to this primary pair of concerts, they'll be staging a separate event this year (see below), as well as forming the choral backbone for the festival's big choral-orchestral event (see Mozart: Coronation Mass). Known as "the world's finest opera chorus," they'll also provide a mini-ensemble for Flora, plus a bigger women's choir for Wolfgang Rihm's Proserpina.

French connection
Expect to hear Henk Badings' Trois Chansons Bretonnes (Three Breton Songs). There will also be a rather far-out piece called Knowee, by Australian composer Stephen Leek, that offers a rare chance to hear "overtone singing," not unlike the sound of the didgeridoo. To boot, there'll be other selections from the choir's latest CD, Flower of Beauty, which also happens to be this program's title.

These concerts are always packed to the rafters
Folks who try to get tickets at the door get turned away in droves, so book early or suffer. For choral fans, it just doesn't get any better than this.

— Lindsay Koob
click to enlarge WILLIAM STRUHS

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