BISMARCK, ND — The University of Mary welcomes in the warmth of the new season with free band and choir spring tour concerts in Montana and North Dakota.

Mary’s Concert Band and Concert Choir are headed west for concerts in Richardton Sunday, March 6, 2 p.m., at the Church of St. Mary; Billings, MT, March 7, 7 p.m., at the St. Patrick Co-Cathedral; and Tuesday, March 8, 7 p.m., at the Williston High School auditorium. All these concerts are free and open to the public.

Concert Choir 1The Concert Choir, an 80-voice ensemble with students from 12 states, will perform a variety of choral standards from the poignant Renaissance motet, “Super flumina Babylonis,” to an adaptation of a Swedish polka, “Nordic Polska.” University of Mary Vocal Jazz will also perform on the tour, featuring jazz standards such as, “It Don’t Mean a Thing” to contemporary a cappella favorites such as “Water” by the Pentatonix. Dr. Tom Porter, nationally known composer, conductor and workshop presenter, directs the choirs. Porter, a native of Mandan, ND, is an alumnus of the University of Mary.

Concert Band 2The Concert Band, under the direction of professor Dennis Gowen, will perform standards of the wind band repertoire, including “El Camino Real” by Alfred Reed, and the “Second Suite in F” by Gustav Holst, as well as contemporary selections, such as Joropo (Venezuelan Dance) by Moliero.  The 40-member ensemble will also perform “The Gallant Seventh” the John Philip Sousa.

Concert Band 3“The band and choir tour is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our student ensembles,” says Porter, chair of the University of Mary Department of Music. “We enjoy the opportunity to connect with audience members—many of whom are alumni or University of Mary supporters—and to perform wonderful music in new venues. Our students especially enjoy performing for and working with high school students at our school concerts.”

Both groups are scheduled to perform at the 2016 North Dakota Music Educators Association (NDMEA) Conference in Bismarck. Concert Choir and Vocal Jazz have recently performed at North Dakota and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).