Westminster Professor's Album Nominated For Two Grammy Awards
Christopher LeCluyse’s performance with choir, Conspirare, earns nomination for
“Best Classical Album” and “Best Choral Performance”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Krista DeAngelis, (801) 832-2682
Feb. 4, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY – As Utah’s only private, liberal arts college, it’s only befitting that Westminster have its share of talented and artistic faculty and staff -- and Christopher LeCluyse is no exception. Not only is he a gifted English professor, but his amazing vocals and performances with a professional choir, Conspirare, have recently helped earn the group two Grammy nominations for “Best Classical Album” and “Best Choral Performance.”
The world will find out on Sunday, February 8 if LeCluyse and Conspirare’s album, entitled Threshold of Night, is worthy of the “gold phonograph” at the 51st annual Grammy Awards.
In October of 2008, LeCluyse and Conspirare recorded Threshold of Night in Troy, New York, at the Troy Saving Bank Music Hall, a 19th-century auditorium where classical artists such Yo-Yo Ma prefer to record because of its high-quality acoustics. Threshold of Night features choral music by Tarik O’Regan, a young British composer.
“In addition to singing with the choir on all the pieces, I'm a soloist on tracks two through four,” said LeCluyse. “The tracks include The Ecstasies Above, which sets “Israfel,” a remarkable poem by Edgar Allan Poe. We were very gratified to find out that the recording had been nominated for two Grammy awards.”
LeCluyse sang with Conspirare for 10 years while living in Austin, Texas. He started taking voice lessons when he was 13 and studied voice and English at Oberlin College and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He went on to earn a PhD in English, but while in graduate school, he continued to sing professionally. He determined then that his specialties would be in choral and early music from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque periods.
“I feel truly privileged to have been able to keep my music going alongside my work as an English professor and writing center director,” he explained. “I'm also grateful that Dean Mary Jane Chase and Peter Goldman, the chair of the English Department at the time, who supported my taking the time to make the recording. Since we’re a liberal arts school, I think it's good to show the students that professors should be well-rounded, too.”
For media interviews with LeCluyse, please contact Krista DeAngelis at (801) 505-3213.
Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience. For more information, visit www.westminstercollege.edu.