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Choral Union

Pacific Lutheran University Choral Union

The PLU Choral Union was established in 1984 to create an ensemble for the university that would bring together singers from the surrounding community, faculty and staff, alumni and students.  Since that time the choir has grown to a full membership of approximately 60-70 singers, with a touring choir of approximately 30-40 singers, and has established a reputation as one of the finest community choruses in the United States. The choir has had two conductors, Richard Sparks (1984-1993) and Richard Nance (1994-present).

Choral Union has been selected to perform for regional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association. The Choral Union Tour Ensemble has traveled to Europe on five occasions, appearing as the featured choir of the World Harp Congress (2002, Geneva), at the Cambridge Summer Music Festival (2005) and Festival Bled (2008).  The Tour Ensemble traveled to Scandinavia in 2011, and in 2014 won both the Mixed Choir and Sacred Music categories at the Florence International Choir Festival during a tour to Italy.  Choral Union’s 25th Anniversary Album was the recipient of the 2011 American Prize for outstanding recording by a community chorus.

Members are selected by an annual audition held in June, and the choir meets one evening each week for rehearsal during the academic year.  Choral Union performs three or four concerts each year, with programs comprised of shorter choral works, or those that focus on major choral literature with orchestra or chamber instrumentation.  The choir often collaborates with area orchestras such as the Northwest Sinfonietta, Tacoma Youth Symphony and the Everett Philharmonic, and has collaborated with the PLU Choir of the West and University Symphony Orchestra.  In March of 2012 Choral Union served as the choir for the Fifth Avenue Theatre’s concert production of “Titanic,” and in the spring of 2015 the choir collaborated with Seattle’s Tudor Choir and the Pacific Northwest Ballet in a production of Orff’s “Carmina Burana.”

Auditions for membership in the PLU Choral Union are held annually in June, except in tour years, when they are held in August.  For further information contact Richard Nance at richard.nance@plu.edu.

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