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Northwest's Tower Choir, conducted by Dr. Stephen Town, will perform March 3 with Oklahoma State University's Concert Chorale. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

Northwest's Tower Choir, conducted by Dr. Stephen Town, will perform March 3 with Oklahoma State University's Concert Chorale. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

Feb. 13, 2019

Tower Choir to perform with Oklahoma State choir March 3

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Dr. Z. Randall Stroope

Dr. Z. Randall Stroope

The Oklahoma State University Concert Chorale will join Northwest Missouri State University’s Tower Choir for a concert next month on the Northwest campus.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 3, in the Charles Johnson Theater at the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building.

The Oklahoma State Concert Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Z. Randall Stroope, annually presents a variety of works throughout an eight-concert season that features music from the Renaissance to the avant-garde. The ensemble – which prides itself on a culture of musicianship, creativity, originality and ambition – presents the music of prominent living composers, such as Lorenzo Donati, Manolo Da Rold, Jake Runestad, Morten Lauridsen and Ēriks Ešenvalds, among others – as well as masters of the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods. The group regularly performs large works, such as Johannes Brahms’ “Ein Deutsches Requiem,” Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” Igor Stravinsky’s “Symphony of Psalms,” Francis Poulenc’s “Gloria” and George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.”

As the Concert Chorale looks forward to touring central Europe in 2019, it previously toured Italy in 2017, performing for Sunday mass at the Vatican, and it toured France and England in 2013. The group performed at the American Choral Directors Association’s (ACDA) Southwest Regional Convention in 2016 and sang at the national ACDA in Minneapolis in 2017.

“This is a big deal to have a university ensemble of the caliber of OSU and a conductor and composer of the stature of Dr. Stroope on our campus,” Dr. Stephen Town, the conductor of Northwest’s Tower Choir, said, adding that Stroope will clinic the Tower Choir prior to the concert. “The Tower Choir will sing on the concert, too, for it is my philosophy that our students should be exposed to the finest musicians and singers. Several are considering graduate work, and Dr. Stroope and the OSU graduate faculty can be an excellent choice for them.”

Stroope has conducted Concert Chorale since 2009. An American conductor, composer and university professor, he has had recent conducting engagements at the Berliner Dom in Germany, Salzburger Dom in Austria, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. He has given 35 performances at Carnegie Hall in New York and nine performances for mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. He is also the artistic director for two summer music festivals in Europe.

Stroope has toured 21 countries with ensembles under his direction, including China, South Africa, Japan, Italy, Latvia, Sweden, Norway, Ukraine, Romania, Germany, France and England, among others.

As a composer, Stroope has published 176 instrumental, solo voice and choral works. His “We Beheld Once Again the Stars,” “Conversion of Saul” and “Caritas et Amor,” which was commissioned by Town, have been performed widely for international music competitions.  His works also have been performed by the London Symphony.

In addition to conducting the Concert Chorale and Chamber Choir at Oklahoma State, Stroope is the director of choral and vocal studies at the university and coordinates the graduate choral conducting program.

He completed a Master of Music degree in voice performance at the University of Colorado Boulder and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting at Arizona State University. He conducted post-graduate work with Margaret Hillis, the chorus master of the Chicago Symphony. As a recipient of the Australian-American Fulbright, he also has worked in western Australia.

The Concert Chorale’s program will include “Stetit Angelus” by Rihards Dubra, “Ave Regina Caelorum” by Tomás Luis de Victoria, “Ecce, vicit leo (á 8, 1613)” by Peter Philips, “Deer Song” by Craig Hella Johnson, “Caelos Ascendit Hodie,” three selections from “Sieben Antiphonen (7 Antiphons)” by Arvo Pärt and “Little Birds” by Eric Whitacre as well as Stroope’s “The Conversion of Saul” and “Michelangelo’s Sonnet.”

The shared concert is part of the ongoing Northwest Guest Choral Ensembles Concert Series established by Town in 2004 and is made possible with funding from the Dr. Michael Steiner, the dean of Northwest’s College of Arts and Sciences. 

Formed decades ago by Ralph E. Hartzell, the Tower Choir is an award-winning choral ensemble, consistently invited to state conferences, including by the MMEA in 2010, 2013 and 2015 and the Nebraska Music Educators Association (NMEA) Conference in 2011, 2014 and 2017, as well as by the National Collegiate Choral Organization in 2011 and appeared on at Carnegie Hall in 2007.

Since the 1999-2000 academic year, under the direction of Town, the ensemble has performed more than 130 concerts for high schools, colleges, universities, churches, institutions and organizations in the states of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas as well as Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C. In addition, the ensemble has given 14 peer-reviewed or invited concerts for learned societies, regional and state conventions, meetings, and symposia.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215