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Director's Notes

René Clausen Thrills Our Pre-Concert Audience

Wheatley and Clausen, May 2016
Greg Wheatley, Music Director (L), with René Clausen

World-renowned composer and conductor René Clausen thrilled our audience with his "composer chat" prior to the Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Chorale's concert this past weekend. During that concert, the Chorale premiered Clausen's choral work The Cloths of Heaven.

Dr. Clausen addressed the audience, talking about his background, how and when he began to compose music, and what it means for him to write. He expressed his appreciation to the Chorale for their commissioning and performing of this piece.

Clausen said that "a piece of music is like looking at a picture which can change color depending on when you are viewing it . . . in the light or dark." He explained that in writing The Cloths of Heaven he used a lot of contrast of men's and women's voices. The Cloths of Heaven is a setting of a text by William Butler Yeats.

It was a real honor to have Dr. Clausen with us for these two concerts. For us, this represents the culmination of a year-long process of seeing a new piece brought to life, written by a wonderful composer just for the Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Chorale. Over the last several months, as the Chorale rehearsed René's piece, we knew he was a gifted composer. After meeting him this past weekend, we now know him as a most gracious man. What a joy to have him with us!

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