BSC Office of Communications

News from the Hilltop

May 18, 2007

Birmingham-Southern student choir to tour Central Europe, further foster connection with Czech Republic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Birmingham-Southern College Concert Choir, conducted by Lester Seigel, who is the Joseph Hugh Thomas Professor of Music at BSC, will make its first European tour in more than 20 years. The 28 singers will perform in the Czech Republic and Austria May 30-June 3. The choir will include 22 BSC students and six singers who are BSC faculty or alumni.

The program will feature unusual works by Czech and Austrian composers and a selection of outstanding American works. Performances will include stops at St. Nicholas Church in Prague, Czech Republic, on May 30; Renaissance Town Hall in Pilsen, Czech Republic, on May 31; Karlskirche, St. Charles Church, in Vienna, Austria, on June 2; and the Palace Chapel, Esterhazy Palace, Eisenstadt, in Austria on June 3.

The tour is planned in part to further the sister city relationship between Pilsen and Birmingham. The college has established a relationship with the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. Professor Jan Vicar of Prague, who taught at BSC as a visiting professor of music in 2006, assisted with arrangements.

In addition to these public performances, the choir will visit and perform in Terezin near Prague, which is the site of the infamous Nazi concentration camp. There the choir will perform works composed by Gideon Klein, an inmate of the camp, which were performed there in the 1940s. The group will also appear in Clam-Galas Palace in Prague, where the choir has been invited by the U.S. Ambassador to perform as part of the opening ceremonies for an art exhibit titled “Views of Chicago.”

The tour follows an appearance by BSC First Lady and violinist Karen Bentley Pollick in Pilsen May 6 alongside Louisiana State University Professor of Cello Dennis Parker. Their performance took place in the University Gallery at the University of West Bohemia on the occasion of the ceremonial opening of an art exhibit presenting artwork of BSC faculty and students.

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