Banner - A Cappella Choir

On May 19, 61 students will depart for Paris, France, to take part in a landmark recording project. Baylor’s A Cappella choir, led by Alan Raines, will be the first American choir to record Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem in the composer’s own church, St-Étienne-du-Mont. Finished in 1948, Duruflé’s Requiem stands out as one of the choral masterpieces of the twentieth-century; based entirely on the Gregorian chants for the Requiem mass, its focus lies not in damnation and judgment, but rather in salvation and healing. Taking the bench where Duruflé himself played for forty-five years will be Baylor’s own Assistant Professor of Organ, Isabelle Demers. Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, winner of both the Main and the Song prizes at the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and baritone Quinn Kelsey will be our soloists in the recording. James Bennighof, Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs and Policy, Kathy Johnson, and Jana Millar, will join also us on this trip.

The tour includes a concert in Caen’s Church of St-Étienne, former burial place of William the Conqueror. The church boasts one of five remaining Cavaillé-Coll organs built in the French Symphonic style.

Alan Raines is the Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Baylor University. A frequent clinician, Raines has guest conducted all-state and honor choirs, both professional and community choruses and given presentations in over 35 states. A recipient of the M.M. and D.M.A. degrees in Choral Conducting at UCLA, Raines served as the Assistant Conductor of the Angeles Chorale while as a student of Donald Neuen. Prior appointments include Georgia State University and Stetson University.

Selected by competitive audition, the 60-voice choir, comprised of students with a wide diversity of majors from multiple disciples, performs a variety of musical styles. The Baylor A Cappella Choir has been nationally recognized for its artistry; having received invitations to perform for the prestigious ACDA National Convention, Texas Music Educators Association Convention, the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Texoma Region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and the College Band Directors Association.