The Willamette University Chamber Choir and Willamette Singers vocal jazz ensemble are stopping in Longview this weekend for three free concerts, including one performance featuring a “choir exchange” with three area high schools.
The Willamette ensembles recently have performed at regional, national and international music and music education conventions, and Longview is among the 10 Washington cities the groups are visiting on their 2019 Winter Choir Tour.
The groups have ties back to Longview with Thomas Carpenter, one of their singers. Carpenter sang in the Mark Morris choir program before graduating in 2017.
Carpenter helped bring his alma mater into the concert, as well as the ensembles for R.A Long and St. Helens high schools, said Billy Buhl, Mark Morris choir director.
The tour kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church on the corner of 20th Avenue and Washington Way in Longview. That concert will include performances by both Willamette groups and the three high school choirs.
“Each high school choir will perform two songs,” Buhl said. “We will be singing a mass choir piece at the end with Willamette University. This ‘finale’ will put a smile on your face and leave you tapping your toes.”
More than 140 high school students will be on stage for the concert. The students have been rehearsing since they returned from winter break, Buhl said.
“It is an amazing opportunity for the students to hear, interact with, learn from, and be inspired by university-level choirs,” Buhl said.
On Sunday, the Willamette Chamber Choir will perform again for two solo concerts. The first is set for the 9:30 a.m. worship service at the Trinity Lutheran, and the second for the 10:30 a.m. worship service at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, located at the corner 22nd Avenue and Louisiana Street in Longview.
All three concerts are open to the public. Goodwill donations for Willamette College will be collected during the events.