SNU Choral Group to Perform In Carnegie Hall

MidAmerica Productions in New York City announced that Dr. Brent Ballweg, and the Southern Nazarene University Chorale Program have been invited to participate in a performance of John Rutter's Magnificat in historic Carnegie Hall on Sunday, January 13, 2008. Members of the choir will join with other outstanding choruses selected from throughout North America to form a festival chorus, accompanied by the New England Symphonic Ensemble, conducted by Maestro Brent Ballweg.

Locally, a “pre-Carnegie Hall” performance will be presented on Sunday, December 2, at Trinity Church of the Nazarene located at 7301 S. Walker Ave. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma at 3:00 p.m. Joining the SNU singers will be local singers from Putnam City North High School, Jan Hulsey, director, and Norman's McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church, Don McAvoy, director. There is no admission charge for this concert.

Dr. David Thye, Conductor-in-Residence for MidAmerica Productions states: "This excellent Choral Program received this invitation because of the quality and high level of musicianship demonstrated by the singers and the exceptional recommendation given by Maestro Ballweg's choral colleagues. It is an elite professional honor to be invited to perform in Carnegie Hall. These wonderful musicians not only represent the quality of musicianship and standard of performance within the institution, but they also become ambassadors for the entire community. This is an event of extreme pride for everybody and deserving of the community's recognition and support.”

Dr. Brent Ballweg is professor of music in the school of music at Southern Nazarene University, where he directs the SNU Chorale, Men's Chorus, and Choral Society. Additionally, he teaches courses in conducting and music history. He is President of the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association and remains active as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator for various music contests, festivals, and workshops across the country. He is included in the 2004 - 2008 editions of Who's Who in America and the 2005-2008 editions of Who's Who in American Education.

In 1986, Dr. Ballweg won first place in a national choral conducting competition held in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1996, he was invited to represent the United States as a participant in a conducting masterclass at the International Federation for Choral Music Fourth World Symposium on Choral Music and World Choirs Festival held in Sydney, Australia, and in 1997 was invited to conduct in masterclasses with the Phoenix Bach Choir at the Southwest Conductor’s Symposium. The SNU Chorale, under Ballweg’s direction, has performed three times as an invited honor choir for the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Convention and has toured to Estonia, Finland, Russia, and Mexico.

Ballweg's professional affiliations include the American Choral Directors Association, International Federation for Choral Music, Oklahoma Choral Directors Association, Music Educators National Conference, Oklahoma Music Educators Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Over the past 22 years, MidAmerica Productions has brought together conductors, choruses, soloists, and orchestral musicians for performances at some of the world's greatest venues, especially at New York’s Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. In addition to presenting classic choral and instrumental works, MidAmerica Productions has championed the works of contemporary composers. On MidAmerica's series in Carnegie Hall and at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, there have been approximately 31 World Premieres, 16 United States Premieres, and 50 New York Premieres.

For more information on the SNU Choral Program, contact the School of Music at Southern Nazarene University at 405-491-6345 or e-mail Rhonda Spear at rspear@snu.edu.