Conservatory Alum Gary R. Schwartzhoff Conducts at the Kennedy Center
Gary R. Schwartzhoff, (DMA conducting, 1990) conductor of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Concert Choir, performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington DC, February 3, 2013. The concert honored John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, on the 50th anniversary of his presidency and featured choral ensembles from Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Dr. Schwartzhoff was the artistic director and conductor of the 330-voice chorus and professional orchestra from the Washington DC area, many from the military orchestras.
The Concert Choir performed Take Him Earth for Cherishing, Herbert Howells, dedicated to John F. Kennedy following his assassination in 1963. Let the Word Go Forth, a commissioned work by Ethan Wickman, former professor at UW-Eau Claire and now professor at the University of Texas-San Antonio, opened the second half of the concert. This score is a five-movement work focusing on speeches by John F. Kennedy, including his Inaugural Address.
Eternal Father, Strong to Save (the Navy Hymn), (as a new arrangement by Dan Forrest for this concert) was conducted by Gary R. Schwartzhoff. On the final verse of the hymn, the audience was invited to join. The concert closed with America the Beautiful, James Mulholland. Composers, including Forrest, Mulholland and Wickman attended the performance.
The 2013 festival marks the second performance by the Concert Choir at the Kennedy Center. In 2009, the Concert Choir performed in another festival honoring Abraham Lincoln.
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