In May we celebrated 22 music majors graduating from WSU and moving into new and exciting careers in music. Below we highlight several of these students.
Choirs to Vienna
This August three faculty and 16 WSU students joined musicians from 24 US states and 5 countries in Eisenstadt, Austria for the annual Classical Music Festival, August 6-16. Dr. Dean Luethi (Professor and Director of Choral Activities at WSU) was Choirmaster for the Festival and Dr. Matthew Myers (Assistant Professor and Associate Director of Choral Activities at WSU) brought 25 members of the Palouse Choral Society to join as well. Dr. Myers is the Artistic Director of the PCS.
WSU students and faculty rehearsed and performed in historic venues such as the Esterhazy Palace, where Haydn wrote music for the Esterhazy court and the Bergkirche (Mountain Church) for which he wrote several of his masses. Participants also performed Haydn’s “Lord Nelson” Mass at the Stephensdom “St Stephen’s Cathedral” in Vienna.
In addition to the performances, students engaged in lectures, viewed Haydn’s handwritten scores, and toured Vienna, Melk Abbey, and Budapest. When asked about the festival and why it was a good fit for WSU students, Dr. Luethi mentioned, “While we are growing our program after COVID, it’s important that we still work to provide these experiences to our students. This festival was not only an opportunity to perform music with a professional orchestra, but it was also an opportunity for our students to immerse themselves in the culture, geography, and spaces in which Haydn lived and breathed. In this way, the cultural immersion they experienced informed their performance of the music and they will never forget why the music was written that way.”
Dr. Luethi hopes to bring WSU students back to Eisenstadt in 2025 for the 50th anniversary of the festival. For more information on how you can help students in the WSU Choral Area engage in these experiences, please email Dr. Luethi directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.