The Samford University A Cappella Choir will represent the U.S. at an international festival of music in St. Petersburg, Russia, during spring break, March 19-28. The 43-member choir is making the trip at the invitation of the Russian Ministry of Culture.
According to choir director Dr. S. Milburn Price, the invitation came as a result of a performance tour the choir made to Russia in 2001. During that visit, the choir sang in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
The choir will present concerts at Sheremetiev Palace, St. Petersburg State University, Glazonov Hall at the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music and at the Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists, a large Baptist church in St. Petersburg.
The Conservatory’s newly-renovated Glazonov Hall is reputed to be one of the three finest concert halls in St. Petersburg, said Dr. Price, dean of Samford’s School of Performing Arts.
The repertoire will include a multi-section motet by Brahms, a choral concerto by Bortnianski, several works by Latin American composers and a section of music by U.S. composers, as well as arrangements of American folk hymns and African-American spirituals. The selections will be part of the spring concert the choir will perform at Samford on April 2.
While in Russia, the Samford singers will present joint concerts with two other musical groups: the select choir of St. Petersburg State University and the choir of the Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists.
The performance with the church choir came about after Price asked the tour coordinator to check on the possibility of the Samford choir performing there. "When he contacted the pastor, he learned that the pastor had been present at our very successful concert at Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow on our previous tour," said Price. "He was quite eager for his church to host us."
The trip will include sightseeing visits to Petergoff, Peter the Great’s summer palace, and the famous Hermitage Museum. The choir will also attend a performance of Russian folk song and dance.