The University Chorale, the premiere mixed vocal ensemble at Oklahoma Baptist University, recently announced the schedule for its spring tour. Performances will take place April 2-5 in various communities around the state of Texas. Members of the community are encouraged to attend, and all Chorale alumni in attendance will be recognized during the performances.
Founded in 1963, The Chorale is comprised of some of OBU’s finest singers selected by audition. Chorale maintains an active performing schedule throughout the state, region and on campus. Members are also involved with OBU musical and opera productions. In 2013, the Chorale produced a 50th Anniversary CD entitled “Hosanna! Rejoice and Sing!” Recent tours have included Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
The Chorale will kick off its tour Sunday, April 2, at Trinity Baptist Church in Amarillo. The group will perform during both the 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. services.
The group will perform that evening at Second Baptist Church in Lubbock. The performance will take place at 6:30 p.m.
The next stop will be the following evening, Monday, April 3, at First Baptist Church of Mineral Wells. The performance will be at 7 p.m.
Tuesday afternoon, April 4, the group will perform a closed concert for local students in Weatherford. They will then continue on to Irving for a 7 p.m. concert at Plymouth Park Baptist Church.
The final performance of the tour will take place at Lamar Baptist Church in Arlington. The concert will begin at 7 p.m.
The Chorale will hold their annual spring concert on the OBU campus April 29 at 7:30 p.m. The following Wednesday, May 3, they will sing during the 10 a.m. chapel service on campus.
During their spring performances, the Chorale will perform selections from their sacred repertoire, including pieces such as “Praise Ye the Lord” by Distler; “Ubi Caritas” by Gjeilo; “Shout to the Lord” arranged by Reighard; “How Great Thou Art” arranged by Huggins; and “A Covenant Prayer” by Forrest. They will likewise perform works from their secular repertoire, including “That I Shall Never Look Upon Thee More” by Mulholland; “Shenandoah” by Erb; “Walking on the Green Grass” by Hennagin; and “Circle of Life (from The Lion King)” arranged by Calalang.
Dr. D. Brent Ballweg, Burton H. Patterson Professor of Music and director of choral activities in the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts, is the group’s director. He earned a Bachelor of Music from OBU, a Master of Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Musical Arts from University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. In 2012, he was named a Director of Distinction by the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association, and in 2016, the Oklahoma Music Educators Association presented him with the Exemplary Teacher-Higher Education Award. In January 2008, he made his NYC Carnegie Hall conducting debut with MidAmerica Productions. He has served as president of the American Choral Directors Association, Southwestern Division; Oklahoma Choral Directors Association; and Texas Two-Year College Choral Directors Association.
Dr. Mary Chung, assistant professor of music, is the accompanist for the Chorale. She began playing piano in South Korea continuing with her studies and graduating from the National Conservatory of Music in the Dominican Republic. She holds a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from North Greenville University and both a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is an active soloist and collaborative artist. She has performed both nationally and internationally in Canada, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Brazil. Her solo awards include first place in the 11th Luis A. Ferré International Piano Competition (Puerto Rico), winner of the William T. Gower Concerto Competition at the University of Southern Mississippi, finalist in the Concerto Competition at the Brevard Music Festival, as well as recipient of the Music Teachers National Association’s Student Achievement Recognition Award.