Now in its 12th year, the Choral Arts Finale is an annual high school choral festival co-sponsored by Concordia University, St. Paul and the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota. This event showcases the state’s top high school choirs.
Six auditioned high school choirs from around the state of Minnesota join the CSP Christus Chorus, led by Dr. David Mennicke, in this annual festival of choral music. Each group will present a 10 minute program, concluding with two pieces by the 400 voice mass choir led by guest clinician/conductor Francisco J. Núñez.
This premier high school choral festival began in 2006 through a generous grant from David and Sandy Frauenshuh, owners of The Frauenshuh Companies, a Twin Cities real estate development company. The Frauenshuh’s are generous supporters of the arts and of Concordia University, St. Paul. Mr. Frauenshuh had a vision for a high profile, high quality choral festival. Their major gifts each year have made this festival possible.
Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur “genius grant” Fellow, is a composer, conductor, visionary, leading figure in music education, and the artistic director/founder of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, renowned worldwide for its diversity and artistic excellence. Since its founding in 1988, Mr. Núñez has heightened an awareness of the ability of children to rise to unforeseen levels of artistry and has been cited by The New York Times for “raising the bar [for children’s choruses] by commissioning a steady stream of works from composers who usually write for adults.”
For the past two decades Mr. Núñez has extended and invigorated the repertoire for young voices by commissioning over100 pieces of music from many of today’s most distinguished established and emerging composers, the majority through YPC’s groundbreaking Transient Glory and Radio Radiance commissioning series. These works have greatly contributed to the ever-evolving fabric of music in the 21st century.
Mr. Núñez also leads the University Glee Club of New York City, its fifth conductor since the all-men’s chorus was established in 1894. He was also the director of choral activities at New York University from 2003 to 2010, and is sought after as a guest conductor by professional orchestras, chamber ensembles, and choirs, as well as a master teacher for choral workshops and festivals throughout North America and Europe. Through his Núñez Initiative for Social Change, in addition, he is frequent keynote speaker as a leading authority on the role of music in achieving equality and diversity among children in today’s society.
Mr. Núñez composes countless compositions and arrangements in all musical formats and styles for choirs, orchestras, and solo instruments and is the recipient of an ASCAP Victor Herbert Award and the New York Choral Society’s Choral Excellence Award. ABC-TV honored him as its “Person of the Week,” and Fox News profiled him for “changing young lives with music.” Musical America Worldwide named him among 30 “Influencers” for his contributions to the music industry, NYU Steinhardt honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Achievement Award; and most recently, he was presented with an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Ithaca College.