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WWFM’s “Sounds Choral” Celebrates 10th Anniversary


WEST WINDSOR – It has been 10 years since a program dedicated to choral music debuted on WWFM The Classical Network, located on the West Windsor Campus of Mercer County Community College (MCCC). While Dr. Marjorie Herman, program host for “Sounds Choral” says it seems like just yesterday, she says it has been a labor of love that has been well worth the effort.

 “Most of us are instinctively drawn to the sound of voices singing together,” Herman said. “I wanted to create a program for choral music lovers, so plentiful in the Princeton area. Since I’m a conductor myself, I know how unique and moving this repertoire is, and how much it means to choristers, conductors, and choral music aficionados alike.”

On May 3, WWFM will celebrate the 10th anniversary of “Sounds Choral” with a special live, two-hour program beginning at 1 p.m. For the past decade the nationally-syndicated program, originating from the MCCC campus, has presented a body of music that explores themes that spotlight either a composer or ensemble, past or present. The program can take on a seasonal theme, and at times focuses on an idea that unites many styles, periods, and forms.

“It is this power of the choral sound, whether in a motet of Brahms or a spiritual arranged by Moses Hogan, which serves as the nexus of the program,” Herman said.

Interviews with prominent or up and coming conductors and composers have rounded out the scope of the program, such as Dale Warland, founder of the Grammy-nominated Dale Warland Singers and renowned champion of contemporary choral composers. Warland is one of only two choral conductors inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.

Dr. Marjorie Herman

Dr. Marjorie Herman, host of WWFM's "Sounds Choral," with some of the 10-years worth of program recordings.

“I have never met a musician more passionate about choral music and what it can do for both singers and listeners, than Marjorie Herman,” Warland said. “I had occasion to be a part of one of her broadcasts and will never forget how pleasant she made the entire experience, the integrity that she demonstrated throughout, and the total success that resulted from her creative ideas.”            

The “Sounds Choral” 10th Anniversary Celebration on May 3 will feature James Jordan, Senior Professor at Westminster Choir College and noted author, as co-host.  Jordan and Herman will share excerpts from several programs centering on pivotal musical events at Westminster, which will include special guests Ryan Brandau, Artistic Director of Princeton Pro Musica; Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, Litton-Lodal Music Director of the American Boychoir; Lynnel Jenkins, Artistic Director of the Princeton Girlchoir; and Craig Hella Johnson, founder of the noted ensemble, Conspirare from Austin, Texas. 

There will be a special appearance by members of the American Boychoir, as well as  excerpts from listeners’ favorite programs, such as “Minister of Music: A Birthday Celebration for Robert Shaw,” “Viva La Femme: Five Centuries of Choral Music by Female Composers,” “Cultivating the Future: The Young People’s Chorus of New York City,” “A Lot of Night Music: The Mozart Vespers Settings,” and “Ain’a That Good News: A History of the American Spiritual.”

Herman received the Doctor of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind., and has taught at the university and community levels for many years.  Currently the music director for the Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Princeton, she has served on the conducting/teaching faculties of the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Maryland/Baltimore County, and on the graduate faculty of Georgian Court University.

Herman is currently on the summer faculty at Westminster Choir College, where she teaches beginning conducting. Herman also lectures on various topics related to choral music and choral singing, including a workshop for Harmonium Choral Society in Madison, NJ on synergy in the choral experience, and a lecture on the Duruflé Requiem for the 2009 Princeton Festival Choral Workshop, led by Simon Carrington. In 2014, she gave a pre-concert talk for Princeton Pro Musica entitled “Johannes Brahms: Classicist or Romantic.”     

The “Sounds Choral” 10th Anniversary Celebration will be broadcast May 3, live, at 1 p.m. on WWFM The Classical Network. Located on MCCC’s West Windsor Campus, WWFM is New Jersey’s only 24-hour classical music station. The station can be heard at 89.1 FM throughout Central New Jersey, in Philadelphia on 89.5 HD2, in New York on 89.9 HD2, and streaming live at wwfm.org. Radio frequencies for your listening area can be found at wwfm.org.



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