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The Singers' Mid-Winter Journey to be performed Feb. 25

Matthew Culloton, artistic director of The Singers, will direct a program entitl

STAPLES — The Singers, a professional 44-voice chamber choir from Minneapolis, will present a program entitled “Mid-Winter Journey-Songs of Love, Loss, and Healing” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25 in Staples Centennial Auditorium. The Staples Area Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorus and Staples Motley High School A Cappella Choir will join The Singers on stage for a portion of the program.

Matthew Culloton, artistic director of The Singers is already known to Staples Motley area community for his work with the Staples Area Men’s Chorus as a singer and commissioned composer. Bryan Blessing, music advisor of The Singers, who sings in the tenor section, grew up in Staples and emphasizes the impact of long, strong choral culture of the area on his career.

“I am thankful to have grown up and been a part of the musical traditions in Staples and am glad for the foundation it has given me as I sing with The Singers and teach music in Bloomington,” said Blessing in an email release. “Director Matthew Culloton and I met singing in the Staples Men’s Chorus when I was in high school, with my father standing in between us! I and my colleagues are looking forward to this collaboration.”

The program features a variety of contemplative choral masterpieces, including works by Minnesota composers. The Singers are joined by the local choirs in Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna for Chamber Orchestra. Steve Hoemberg who conducts the high school A Cappella Choir considers this event to be an excellent opportunity for the students and singers: “They can not only listen, but participate in performing side-by-side with a professional ensemble in a contemporary work for a mass choir. What a learning experience that will be. “

Culloton and a teaching team of the group will conduct master classes for local community and high school choirs during the week of the concert.

From Staples, The Singers continue to Duluth where they perform a new work from Joshua Shank commissioned in memory of a young missionary who died in the 2010 Haitian earthquake. This tour is funded, in part, by the Minnesota State Arts Board through the arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the Legacy Amendment vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

Founded in 2004, The Singers organization is dedicated to giving world-class performances of the finest choral literature. The Singers exists to serve as artists, educators, and ambassadors of the choral art. The Singers has premiered and commissioned over 50 new works by composers Stephen Paulus, Abbie Betinis, Jocelyn Hagen and Craig Carnahan. In March 2011, The Singers performed at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Chicago.

Tickets are $10 from the Staples Area Men’s Chorus or by calling (218) 894-2497.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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