Augsburg/Mirandola Chamber Collective joins choral forces with Voces8 and Voces8 Scholars

Minneapolis’ Augsburg/Mirandola Chamber Collective recently had the privilege of recording with British vocal powerhouse Voces8 and its Voces8 U.S. Scholars, a stupendous event captured by YourClassical MPR. Listen now as they perform Paul Smith’s breathtaking “The Day Sky” and Charles Wood’s majestic “Hail, Gladdening Light.”

"I was so happy seeing my students experience their full preparedness to join accomplished musicians in these gorgeous choral performances,” said Kristina Boerger, who directs the Augsburg/Mirandola singers. “It was a tremendous reinforcement of all that they are learning about the requirements of the discipline: If they answer those requirements, they will be rewarded with that transcendence of communication that only vocal harmonizing can bring! I am grateful to the Voces8 community and to MPR for such a rare and precious opportunity."

Smith’s piece was conceived for the happiest of occasions: the wedding of his brother (and Voces8's artistic director), Barney Smith. Making this recording extra special, Barney Smith leads the massed choir in the work.

“The wedding took place in Cambridge just after Christmas and was a moving, joyous and beautiful occasion," Paul Smith says. "This piece is very much written as a ‘miniature,' a moment for thought, reflection and beauty. I presented Barney and [his now-wife] Libby with a number of choices for the text and was thrilled when they chose this beautiful poem by Hafiz.”

This performance of “The Day Sky” also was meaningful for the Augsburg/Mirandola singers, Boerger said, because a major benefactor was able to observe from the studio booth.

"This remarkable session was significantly underwritten by John N. Schwartz, Augsburg alumnus and peripatetic benefactor of choral study and performance,” she said. “John passed three months later, having lived valiantly and well for years in defiance of a threatening diagnosis. On this day, he was present in the sound booth, raptly attentive to the process and suffused with joy. We thank MPR for hosting this opportunity for him to experience fulfillment of his fervent wish: to ensure life-changing involvement in the choral arts for Augsburg's students of today."

The singers would later go on to perform the song at Schwartz’s memorial service.

Barney Smith also leads the choral forces in Wood's classic hymn, which was translated from its original Greek into English by John Keble, from the ancient Christian hymn “Phos Hilaron.”

The Voces8 U.S. Scholars, under the direction of Erik Jacobson and Paul Smith, are the U.S.-based training ensemble of the Voces8 Foundation and include up-and-coming professional singers who seek to hone their vocal craft. Their curriculum includes a recording residency at Minnesota Public Radio each fall with Minnesota-based composers and performers.


“The Day Sky”
Composed by Paul Smith
Music © 2023 by Voces8 Publishing. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Sheet music:

“Hail, Gladdening Light”
Composed by Charles Wood; lyrics translated from the original Greek by John Keble
This performance © 2023 by Minnesota Public Radio. All rights reserved.

Recorded Oct. 31, 2023, in the Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser studio at Minnesota Public Radio, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Love the music?

Donate by phone

Show your support by making a gift to YourClassical.

Each day, we’re here for you with thoughtful streams that set the tone for your day – not to mention the stories and programs that inspire you to new discovery and help you explore the music you love.

YourClassical is available for free, because we are listener-supported public media. Take a moment to make your gift today.

More Ways to Give

Your Donation


Latest Videos Episodes


Latest Videos Episodes


This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment‘s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.