The Samford choral group joined a Russian choir in Moscow's Tchaikovsky
Hall, presenting music by composer Dmitri Bortnianski, known as
"the Russian Mozart." The event celebrated the 250th anniversary
of Bortnianskiís birth.
The choir also presented its own concert of works by historic classical
composers, 20th century American composers, and spirituals. Some
were sung in Russian, German and Latin. Dr. Milburn Price, School
of Performing Arts dean, conducted.
Later, the choir presented Russian folk music as an encore to a
concert and even sang an impromptu excerpt of a Bortnianski concerto
while sightseeing in the Kremlin.
The choir toured Moscow and St. Petersburg in late May and early
June at the invitation of the Russian Ministry of Culture. The invitation
came after officials heard the choirís CD released in 2000, O Magnum
Mysterium: The Life of Jesus in Choral Music.
The Tchaikovsky Hall concertóthe tour highlight-was attended by
prominent musical figures and leading government officials, including
Minister of Culture Alexander Demchenko. A crew from the Russian
Cultural Television Network (similar to PBS) filmed a portion of
the concert and interviewed Price. The feature aired on nationwide
was truly a unique experience, singing with a Russian choir and
performing in concert halls that are so famous, especially knowing
the history and the people who have performed there before,"
said Seth Hix of Ozark, a graduate student conductor.
The choir also gave two concerts in St. Petersburg: one at Capella
Hall, considered one of the finest halls for choral music in Russia,
and another at the Greek Hall at Pavlovsk Palace, where much of
Bortnianski's music was first performed. The concert in Pavlovsk
Palace was covered by a St. Petersburg television station.
Concert venues in Moscow included Central and Second Baptist churches.
Baptist is reportedly the only evangelical church in Russia that
continued functioning during a major part of the Communist regime,"
Both churches have been sites for a training institute for evangelical
church musicians from throughout Russia. Price and Samford music
instructor Sherrie Lawhon have served as guest faculty for the annual
two-week summer sessions.
is well known among the Russian cultural community through his service
as president of the American Choral Directors Association and as
board member of the International Federation for Choral Music.