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April 23, 2008
University of Dubuque Choir to Perform Spring Concerts

Members of the University of Dubuque's Concert Choir will perform their spring concert at three venues - Blades Chapel, University of Dubuque on April 25 at 7:00 p.m.; Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1755 Delhi Street, Dubuque, on April 27 at 3:00 p.m.; and Monticello Berndes Center, 766 N. Maple, Monticello on May 4 at 7:00 p.m.

The Monticello concert is a benefit for Monticello's First Presbyterian Church which was severely damaged in an arson fire on March 8, 2008. Choir member, Kevin James (class year, computer graphics and interactive media major), a member of the church, brought the news of the disaster to Choir Director Charles Barland. Barland then spoke with the church's pastor, Rev. Al Polito (S'84), and decided that with these connections and the Presbyterian tie between UD and the church, it would be a good opportunity for the choir to help raise funds toward the rebuilding of the church.

The members of First Presbyterian plan to repair and rebuild the 102-year-old building so it may continue to be a place of worship and mission in the 21st century and beyond. A free-will offering will be collected with all donations going directly to the fund to rebuild the First Presbyterian Church. The church members are also organizing a dinner before the concert as part of the fund-raising efforts.

Since the fire, the congregation has been holding service at the United Church, a neighbor of First Presbyterian Church.

"The University of Dubuque and it's choirs are appreciative and humbled to have the chance to help others in need," said Barland. This is another chance for our students to learn the importance of serving others."

The choir, under the direction of Dr. Charles Barland, will perform a variety of works including Psalm settings, Spirituals, and Folk Songs. "Performances like this are very important to the artistic progress of the choir and for the friendships made or renewed along the way," said Barland. "Each venue we sing in, every person we meet, holds a special place in the hearts of our students. We look forward to sharing our music and the University through our Spring Concert."

The history of music at the University of Dubuque goes back to the early part of the 20thcentury. As early as 1918, there was a co-ed choral music ensemble, a men's glee club, a band, and an orchestra. Beginning in the 1920s, the concert choir toured regularly. Concerts were performed in churches and schools throughout the Midwest.

Today the University of Dubuque Choir is returning to its heritage - growing in numbers and expanding its performance schedule. This year, choir events included a joint performance with the University of Dubuque Seminary Choir at the annual Fall Convocation, Homecoming weekend performances, a fundraiser/dinner concert, a Fall Tour to high schools in Eastern Iowa, UD's annual Christmas on the Quad , a Hymn Festival, as well as these three spring concerts - a part of the University's 2008 Arts Celebration. After Commencement, the Choir will embark on a ten-day tour of the East Coast on Monday, May 12, 2008.