HomeThe Choir of the West

School or Affiliation: Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA

The Choir of the West

The third Lutheran college to develop a nationally touring a cappella choir was Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Wash. In the fall of 1925, Pacific Lutheran College, by then grown to nearly 150 students, hired a young St. Olaf graduate, Joseph Edwards, to head the music department. During the opening weeks of the 1926-27 school year, Edwards started trying out voices for the “Choir of the West,” a name suggested by an early tour manager of the choir. Despite a shortage of qualified singers, Edwards started building a choir that became respectable and even excellent in time. Today under the direction of Richard Nance, the Choir of the West performs in concerts on campus, travels annually to Portland and Seattle performing a Christmas concert series and undertakes an annual tour, often visiting distant cultural centers in the U.S. and Europe. The choir regularly joins the University Symphony Orchestra in performances of major choral/orchestral works.


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