Students from region sing with director of Mormon Tabernacle Choir at UWS
When the region’s top high school singers gather Nov. 2 at the University of Wisconsin-Superior for its annual Chorfest, they will have a special opportunity to learn and perform under the direction of Craig Jessop, former music director of the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
“I have several friends who have sung under Dr. Jessop, and I have seen him work. He is one of the great conductors of our time for choral musicians,” said Dr. Matthew Faerber, director of choral activities at UWS and organizer of Chorfest.
This year marks the 29th time UWS’ Music Department has presented Chorfest, a day of music clinics for high school vocalists. The festival ends with an evening concert by the Tri-State Honor Choir and the UWS choirs.
“Our goal for Chorfest is to give the singers a first-class experience performing a major work with a nationally known conductor,” Faerber said. “We want the top singers from our region to have an opportunity to sing with other people who have the same level of ability.”
Jessop has been on the American choral scene for more than three decades. His tenure as music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and as director of the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants in Washington, D.C., has taken him to the most prestigious concert halls of the nation and around the world.
Under Jessop’s musical direction, the Tabernacle Choir received numerous awards, including the National Medal of Arts. He has recorded more than 15 CDs on the Telarc and MTC labels and received a Grammy nomination for his work with the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.
Jessop will work with singers from 23 high schools. Wisconsin schools sending singers include Ashland, Bayfield, Bruce, Chetek-Weyerhauser, Hurley, Luck, Medford, New Auburn, Northland Pines, Northwestern, Solon Springs, South Shore, Spooner, St. Croix Falls, Superior, Turtle Lake and Washburn. Minnesota schools participating are Ely, Esko, The Marshall School in Duluth, and Ogilvie. Participating from Michigan is L.L. Wright High School in Ironwood.
The high school singers will join UWS’ Acappella Choir and Chamber Choir in presenting an evening concert featuring a performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Missa in tempori belli.”
In addition to conducting at Chorfest, Jessop will conduct a rehearsal of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra chorus and teach master classes for UWS students.
“He’s going to conduct our choir in concert, too,” Faerber said. “I’m so excited for our students to get to sing under Craig Jessop. It’s a dream.”
The Chorfest concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2, in Thorpe Langley Auditorium in Old Main on campus. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students.
Call the Music Department at 715-394-8115. For directions to UWS and campus maps, go to www.uwsuper.edu/directions.