From the Grammys to Bloomington, and beyond

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René Clausen conducts the Concordia College Choir. (Photo courtsey of Concordia College.)

Cognitive dissonance happens when the pastor in a Lutheran church reminds the congregation that the musician leading worship this Sunday morning recently swept three Grammy categories.

René Clausen had brought his Concordia College Choir from Moorhead to Duluth last Saturday to kick off a tour of the central United States. The next morning, the choir performed for the 8:30 service at Duluth’s First Lutheran Church. A member of First Lutheran’s regular choir, which had the day off, admitted to a visitor that the music wasn’t usually this good. “We’re pathetic in comparison,” he said.

But who isn’t? The Concordia Choir has a wonderfully disciplined and blended sound. And its conductor, Clausen, picked up Grammys this month for a new CD of his choral music, “Life and Breath.” He’s been leading the choir for 27 years.

Minnesota listeners will have one more chance to catch the tour before the choir heads for points south: at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Bloomington. The program includes Bach, Distler, Christiansen and, yes, Clausen. The tour will touch most states between here and Texas before wrapping up with a homecoming performance in Moorhead March 10.

If you can’t see them in person, there’s always this:

– Eric Ringham