The Northwestern State University Chamber Choir will release its second recording “The Silver Swan: the Choral Music of Richard Burchard” on May 12. It will be available for purchase online as a CD and on iTunes, NAXOS and Spotify.
Director of Choral Activities Dr. Nicholaus B. Cummins said the project began with funding from the Prince Endowed Fellowship and was completed with assistance from Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Handel, Director of the Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts Scott Burrell and Chair of the Department of Music Dr. Terrie Sanders. The recording will feature choirs from 2019-2021. The Chamber Choir’s first CD was “For a Breath of Ecstasy” with composer Dr. Michael John Trotta.
“We wanted to find a way to show a final product that exemplified the importance of funding projects like our commissions with Richard Burchard and previously Michael Trotta,” said Cummins. “The Lenn Prince Endowed Professorship and others funded at NSU provide faculty and students with opportunities to undertake more extensive artistic or research projects. This CD will provide a concrete example to enable others to see the value of these endowed professorships and the great experiences they provide for our students and faculty at Northwestern State.”
A college music educator of more than 30 years, Burchard has taught a variety of courses including composition and arranging, music technology, music theory and world music as well as courses in study abroad programs in Salzburg, Austria, and South Africa. A native of Meadville, Pennsylvania, he attended Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and received both a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree from the University of Louisville.
Burchard’s choral works have been performed and premiered throughout the United States at a number of state, regional and national choral conferences including ACDA and NCCO. European premieres of his choral music have been in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Other works have been premiered in China and Australia. Burchard’s portfolio includes over 100 commissioned works, most of them written for A Cappella Choir. He is published with the Fred Bock Publishing Group, Gentry Publications, H.T. Fitzsimons Co., National Music Publishers and Pavane Publishing. Burchard also has two choral series with Gentry Publications: “The Choral Music of Richard Burchard” and “The Richard Burchard Choral Series.”
The Northwestern Chamber Choir, founded in 1987, is the flagship choral ensemble at Northwestern State. The Northwestern Chamber Choir is made up of 34 undergraduates encompassing various majors throughout the university. The choir often collaborates with composers and conductors for projects. The Northwestern Chamber Choir was the featured choir at the 2017 Louisiana Music Educators Association conference and was selected to perform at the 2019 Eighth National Collegiate Choral Conference National Conference in Maryland. In 2021, they placed in the top four of the Leonardo da Vinci Choral Competition in Florence, Italy. The Chamber Choir has also placed second in the Laurea Mundi Budapest in Budapest, Hungary, and Second and Best Interpretation in the AVE VERUM ICC in Baden, Austria. Cummins and the Northwestern Chamber Choir have been invited to premiere the “Stabat Mater” by Burchard in London, England, at the Southwark Cathedral in June.