The State Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Nathan Leaf, returned on May 21, 2018, from a thrilling
and successful concert tour through Central Europe. After singing at commencement on May 12, the
Chorale flew to Munich on May 13 to begin the nine-day tour, including performances in Salzburg,
Vienna, and Prague.
Performance highlights of the trip included the rare opportunity to perform a concert at the Salzburg
Cathedral, where the audience filled the spacious church of Mozart’s hometown. This was followed two
days later by a warm and receptive small-town welcome in the beautiful Baroque Biedermansdorf
Church outside of Vienna. The tour concluded with two performances in Prague, first at St. Nicholas on
the Square in the old town, followed the next day by an afternoon performance in the reverberant main
gallery of the Czech Museum of Music. The choir’s repertoire included works by Austrian composers
Mozart and Bruckner, works from Asia and the South Pacific, the European premiere performances of a
new composition by Dr. Leaf, and an assortment of American spirituals, hymns, and folk songs.
In addition to the performances, the Chorale members had the opportunity to see, explore, and
experience Austrian and Czech history and culture. One of the most poignant parts of the trip was the
Chorale’s visit to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. This experience brought new meaning to the
choir’s performances of the work “Even When He is Silent,” which is a setting of an anonymous text
found after World War II written on the wall of a concentration camp. Other places the choir visited
included Melk Abbey, Brno in the Czech Republic, Mozart’s birth house in Salzburg, and historic sites
throughout Vienna and Prague.
The NC State Chorale is the premier vocal ensemble at NC State University. Dedicated to upholding the
highest standards of the choral art and the collegiate choral tradition, the State Chorale is comprised of
approximately 60 student singers, all of whom are earning degrees in fields other than music.