LETU choir director to make double debut at famed Carnegie Hall

LETU choir director to make double debut at famed Carnegie Hall

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A Longview educator will conduct the New York premiere of his own composition, “Cambridge Songs Suite No. 2.”

Dr. Jim Taylor is the choir director at LeTourneau University in Longview. Taylor will lead a chorus of more than 130 voices on Monday, June 10 at 8 pm at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

The chorus includes members of two ensembles he directs. It will be the first performance at the historic venue of a work by Taylor, and his first appearance there as a conductor.

The Magnificat attributed to baroque composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi is also part of Taylor’s program.

This also will be the first time both of Taylor’s ensembles perform in Carnegie Hall.

“It is a great pleasure and privilege to be able to conduct in Carnegie Hall and to perform one of my own pieces there,” he said. "Nearly 20 years ago I brought my Jacksonville Children’s Chorus to New York for a MidAmerica children’s choir festival, and it is great to work with MAP again. What a thrill for my singers and friends to be here, as well as the translator and commentator of the Cambridge Songs manuscript, Dr. Jan Ziolkowsky. Many thanks to those who helped our singers raise the funds to make this trip possible.”

Vocal soloists for the Pergolesi will be Robyn Marie Lamp, soprano; Caitlin Redding, mezzo-soprano; David Guzman, tenor; and Jason Duika, baritone; Ms. Lamp and Mr. Duika will also perform solos in Dr. Taylor’s work. The New England Symphonic Ensemble will accompany both works in a performance that is part of MIdAmerica Productions’ 36th concert season.

The chorus for these two works will include members of the Kingsmen Singers of Christian Heritage School in Trumbull, Conn.; Warwick Valley Chorale, of Warwick, NY; Henderson High School Choir, of Henderson; LeTourneau Singers and the Longview Civic Chorus, both of Longview.

Taylor is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Fine Arts at LETU. From 2009-2017 he was Director of Choral Activities at Kilgore College, where his choirs performed annual masterworks with orchestra including the Brahms and Mozart Requiems, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and others.

He has conducted the Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Ukraine in the Mozart Mass in C minor, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Handel’s Dixit Dominus, and Britten’s Cantata misericordium.

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