This summer, the LMU Choruses presented three major concerts, one in Versailles (La Cathédrale of Saint-Louis de Versailles) and two in Paris (L’Église de la Madeleine and L’Église St-Etienne-du-Mont). Most notable of these, perhaps, was St-Etienne-du-Mont, the church where composer Maurice Duruflé served as director of music.
The program included works of Sweelinck, Fauré, Duruflé as well as Handel, Chesnokov, Gjeilo and Lauridsen. The choruses presented the European premier of movements from Paul Gibson’s “Te Deum”, commissioned to celebrate 50 years of the “modern day” LMU choral tradition.
In addition to the formal concerts, the choruses also sang for the flag raising and a short memorial program at the Normandy American Cemetery & Memorial. Here they honored those who so bravely lost their lives on the beaches of Normandy with a wreath-laying as part of their presentation. The words selected by the choruses to be placed on the ribbons of the wreath reflected the depth of emotion this experience held for the singers: “Just as their reward is eternal, so also is our debt of gratitude eternal.” This was the “Sistine Chapel” moment of the France tour.