Choral Stream

Bring the Sing draws vocal community to Iowa's Luther College

A scene from Bring the Sing Decorah on April 14, 2018, at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.Brendan Bush

Bring the Sing: Decorah


May 10, 2018

On April 14, Bring the Sing drew together voices for the final event of its 2017-18 season in an undisputed hotbed of choral music — Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

The event also marked the first time Bring the Sing took place outside Minnesota.

Acclaimed Luther conductors Andrew Last and Mark Potvin led singers from around Classical MPR's listening region, as well as members of their choirs, in performances of Bring the Sing's adopted anthem, Draw the Circle Wide, by Mark A. Miller. Other moving works included Jeffery Ames' Let Everything That Has Breath; George Frideric Handel's O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion (from The Messiah); and Z. Randall Stroope's The Pasture, a setting of Robert Frost's poem by that name, which is something of a signature work for the Luther choral community.

Pianist Jessica Louise Paul supported the singers for all the works, and Beth Ray Westlund, a soprano in Luther's vocal department, sang the solo from The Messiah.

In January, Bring the Sing Rochester was canceled midevent due to a fire in the auditorium. Despite a strong spring blizzard that descended on the region on the day of the Decorah event, several intrepid singers trekked from the Rochester area to lend their voices. Fire or ice, the song must go on!