Aga among choir members to perform in Nebraska, Kansas

Aga among choir members to perform in Nebraska, Kansas Beginning on Jan. 29, 2004, the Augustana Choir rings in the New Year by embarking on a tour of America's heartland.

The choir is composed of 72 singers drawn from all areas of the student body. The 2004 tour will focus on "A Vision of Peace."

Amanda Aga, an Augustana freshman from Vermillion, is a soprano choir member.

The centerpiece of the concert is a newly commissioned work from Minnesota composer Daniel Kallman titled We Saw a Vision. The text is a poem from the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, Ireland, by Liam MacUistin. The idea is that one generation struggles to give peace as a gift to the next.

The selections are: Peace as Gift, Peace as Vision, Peace as Struggle, Peace as Peace, and Peace as Prayer. Music is from American composers and arrangers � Kallmann, Clausen, Whitacre, Ferko, Bestor, Christiansen, Paulus, Young, Hogan, Brown, and others.

The choir's performances are free and open to the public. Free will offerings will be accepted.

Now in its 82nd year, the choir has visited the majority of America's 50 states, and in the summer of 2004 returns to Ireland for a two-week "Peace and Reconciliation" tour. A performance in Strabane, Sioux Falls' sister city, is included on the itinerary. The literature from the midwinter tour will also form the core of music for the choir's Ireland tour.

Formed in 1921 by Dr. Carl Youngdahl, the choir is Augustana's premier choral ensemble. Dr. James Johnson is the fourth director in the choir's history. Dr. Johnson came to Augustana in 1992 from Boston University's School for the Arts, where he was the head of the graduate and undergraduate program in choral music education.

In 2002 the choir embarked on its fifth international tour, a two-week adventure to Italy and Germany. The choir sang at Masses in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and at the Basilica of St. Francis in Florence. In Germany, the Choir visited Potsdam, another of Sioux Falls' sister cities.

In the summer of 1996, the Choir represented South Dakota in the "American Musical Salute to Austria," commemorating Austria's millenium.

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