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Feb. 08, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU hosts Pa. Intercollegiate Festival

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Some 70 vocal students from 10 colleges and universities across Pennsylvania will join 22 Slippery Rock University vocal students for the three-day Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Choir Festival being hosted at SRU Feb. 14-16.

Patrick Dupré Quigley, director of the Grammy-nominated Seraphic Fire, a newly formed Miami-based chamber choral group, is the guest conductor.

Stephen Barr, SRU assistant professor of music and president of the Pennsylvania Collegiate Choral Association, which is sponsoring the concert, is coordinating the festival.

The choir will rehearse the 60-minute Braham's "Requiem" and other selections in preparation for a free 1:30 p.m., Feb. 16, festival concert in the Smith Student Center Ballroom. A work by contemporary American composer Jake Runestad titled "I Will Lift My Eyes" will also be presented along with a number of small ensemble selections chosen by the festival judges during pre-concert competitions.

"As the new president of the Pennsylvania Collegiate Choral Association, it is my job to organize the festival. I thought it would be a great way to showcase our new student center by hosting the festival at Slippery Rock University," Barr said. He was recently elected to a two-year term as president.

Barr is looking for faculty and staff to host visiting student participants. Hosts would provide two nights lodging, breakfast and transportation to the University. To volunteer, contact Barr at 724.738.2451.

Festival participants will arrive on campus Feb. 14, then audition for various parts within the choir before going into rehearsals for the Feb. 16 concert, Barr said.

"The students are from both Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities and private schools," Barr said.

American conductor Quigley is reportedly at the vanguard of a new generation of young Baroque specialists, at ease at the helm of the modern symphony orchestra while still able to create the passionate, distinctive style of the Baroque sound.

He is the founder and artistic director of Seraphic Fire and the Firebird Chamber Orchestra and has been been described by the Miami Herald as "a musician with a constellation of qualities rarely found in a single conductor: an enthusiastic and audience-friendly personal style, a scholar's instinct for rooting out obscure but worthy music, a scrupulous and historically informed approach to works that span a wide range of musical periods, an ability to bring out the best in his talented platoon . . . and a showman's canny sense of how to appeal to audiences."

Quigley was nominated for two 2012 Grammy awards and was the only conductor to be nominated for two separate projects. Seraphic Fire was the only choir in North and South America to receive a nomination.

Under Quigley's direction, Seraphic Fire has released 10 recordings on the Seraphic Fire Media label, with three additional recordings planned this year. Seraphic Fire has signed a three-year partnership deal with Naxos of America to distribute Seraphic Fire Media.

Quigley has made guest appearances with the San Francisco Symphony's Community of Music Makers series, Cincinnati's professional Vocal Arts Ensemble and two appearances with the San Antonio Symphony.

At 26 he was the youngest recipient ever of the Robert Shaw Conducting Fellowship given annually by the National Endowment for the Arts and Chorus America to one conductor between the ages of 25 and 40 who demonstrates the potential for a significant professional career.

He is the recipient of the Chorus America's 2011 Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal.

He earned his master of music degree in conducting from the Yale School of Music after completing his undergraduate degree in musicology at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a graduate of the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy Fundraising School.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.