Members of Rice County performance choir Beau Chant recently wrapped up local rehearsals in preparation for their upcoming trip to New York City where they will perform at Lincoln Center under the direction of Rene Clausen.
Clausen, a former Faribault resident, is a Grammy award-winning composer and conductor of the Concordia College choir. The group will premiere his latest work, “Te Deum.” Beau Chant is made up of singers from Faribault, Northfield, Owatonna, Savage, Burnsville, Bloomington and St. Paul.
Beau Chant director Dione Peterson, of Faribault, said 10 Beau Chant members departed for New York City Friday and will join 190 others from across the globe for Monday’s performance.
“The extended work that will be performed is ‘Te Deum,’ which is a prayer of thanksgiving,” Peterson said. “The choir of 200 will sing in English accompanied by a full orchestra with Rene conducting.”
Peterson said Rene went to school in the Faribault area, attended college at St. Olaf and has been at Concordia in Moorhead for at least the last 20 years.
“He’s being commissioned more and more to write music and is taking leave from Concordia next year to work on composing,” she said. “He was commissioned after 9/11 in New York to write a memorial piece that was performed one year after 9/11. He’s been doing many commissioned pieces on 9/11.”
“I’m so excited to be working with Rene Clausen,” said Laura Mosset, a Beau Chant member from the Twin Cities who sang for Peterson in her high school choir. “To have this kind of opportunity is outstanding. Clearly Dione’s reputation played a key role. The feedback that I’ve gotten from other members is positive. Everybody’s having a lot of fun and making great music.”
Because the reputation of Beau Chant is spreading fast and because of this activity, the group is already getting invitations to participate in various tours and festivals in 2015, Peterson said.
“This is just a stepping stone to more performance opportunities,” said Peterson.
Beau Chant’s upcoming performances include “Here We Come A Caroling” on Dec. 14 at the Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour; a February dinner show; and spring concert, “It’s May, the Lovely Month of May” on May 3, 2015, also at the Cathedral.
Details are still being ironed out for the dinner show in February, Peterson said. Beau Chant took a break last year after their Christmas concert until February. But next year, a sub-group of Beau Chant will do the dinner show, then the entire choir will pick up again after that. The dinner theater will allow non-travelers to perform in the absence of those who travel over the winter, said Peterson.
Mosset said Beau Chant has about 35 members and is looking for additional members on all voice parts. For those interested in joining, interviews will be conducted in late July and August. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time.
Reach reporter Camey Thibodeau at 333-3128. Follow her on Twitter.com @CameyThibodeau.