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Otterbein Concert Choir travels to Germany

Otterbein Concert Choir travels to Germany

The Otterbein University Concert Choir will be leaving on a musical adventure to Germany in December, but you can get a preview of their tour performance on Sunday, Nov. 19. The choir, under the direction of Gayle Walker, will perform at 7:30 p.m. at Westerville Community United Church of the Christ, 770 County Line Road. The Ringers Bell Choir from the Church of the Messiah in Westerville will be featured guests on the program. This event is free and open to the public.

The concert will feature holiday works rooted in German tradition that the choir will perform in their professional tour to Germany this Dec. 11-20, including masterworks, carol arrangements, spirituals, and works by Bach, Brahms, Chilcott, and Gibbs.

While in Germany, the choir will perform this program at the Cologne Cathedral; Kristuskirche in Schwelm; Tomaskirche (Bach’s home church) and St. Nikolai in Leipzig; and at the Evangelische Kirche of Jünsdorf, near Berlin.

The trip will include excursions and their cultural exchange will include two nights staying with German host families who attend Kristuskirche, where they will experience German food and hospitality. They will also visit a museum dedicated to Bach’s legacy, Beethoven’s birthplace in Bonn, Christmas markets and other sites in well-known cities like Berlin, Dresden, Liepzig, Potsdam, among others.

The trip was made possible by donations from 26 individuals and the Clements Foundation, along with the fundraising efforts of choir members, who raised approximately $4,000 toward their trip.

The Concert Choir is the most select of the Otterbein University’s five vocal ensembles. The Choir tours annually to destinations both domestic and abroad. Recent itineraries have included Savannah, Boston, New Orleans, and Ireland. The ensemble has been invited to perform at prominent locations abroad such as the Beijing Central Conservatory, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna and St. Nicholas Church in Prague.  Concert Choir has performed frequently at conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and the Ohio Music Education Association. The choir frequently performs at professional conferences, including the American Choral Directors Association Division Conference and the Ohio Music Education Association Conference.  

Walker is in her 18th year as director of choral activities and professor of music at Otterbein, where she is responsible for the organization of five vocal ensembles; conducts Concert Choir and Opus One a cappella ensemble; and teaches classes in conducting, aural skills, and music history. A native of Iowa, Walker received her bachelor’s degree from Macalester College, master of music degree from the University of Colorado, and doctor of arts degree from the University of Northern Colorado. She is past president of both the Ohio Choral Directors Association and the Central Division of the American Choral Directors Association.

The Otterbein University Department of Music offers degrees in Music Education (BME), Music Performance (BM), Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Music (BA), and Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Music and Business. In addition to its choral program, the department has a full complement of bands, orchestras, and active programs in jazz and opera. The Department of Music is a fully accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music. For more information about the department, including audition materials, please contact either Chairperson Dennis Davenport, or Program Manager Claire Brock at cbrock@otterbein.edu, or by calling 614-823-1504.