National Lutheran Choir unveils new season, festival

Tuesday was a big day for announcements at the National Lutheran Choir: a new season, a new assistant conductor and a new choral festival that could well become an annual event.

The choral festival is being shepherded by the NLC’s Administrative Director Randall Davidson. It grew out of the desire to collaborate among the various choirs, which like the NLC have offices in the Cowles Center in downtown Minneapolis.

“We talked about working together and we loved the idea of supporting each other instead of competing, and I think this is a way of fostering that,” said NLC Artistic director David Cherwien.

The festival will take place in the spring, from April 1 to May 10, he said.

It’s a time of year when many choirs put on spring shows, but have to work hard to pull in audiences without the additional draw of Christmas or Easter. The festival is planned for venues around the state, and there are obvious economies of scale to be enjoyed by sharing the costs of publicity and venues.

Even though the idea was just floated a few weeks ago the idea has spread far beyond the Cowles, and already organizers expect at least 40 Minnesota choirs to take part. Details are still being worked out and a formal announcement of choirs, venues and dates won’t come until November.

Adam Reinwald is the newly appointed Assistant Conductor of the National Lutheran Choir. He joined the choir after a long career as a baritone at Cantus. Courtesy NLC

However the NLC’s new Assistant Conductor Adam Reinwald is also excited about the possibilities of the festival.

“Wouldn’t it be fantastic, though, to hear a choir like VocalEssence Ensemble singers, and then on the same concert, say, a youth choir and then a different community choir, a larger community choir, on the same concert?” he asked. “From an audience perspective that’s a pretty exciting event to go see.”

Reinwald joins the NCL after a long career singing with Cantus. The baritone will both sing and conduct in his new position, while also working with individual groups of singers within the choir.