Public Invited to Annual Spring Choir Concert at the University of Mary


Concert is free and open to the public

BISMARCK, NDThe death and resurrection of Jesus during the Easter season gives Christians hope for life eternal. The trees budding, flowers blooming, birds singing, and grass rising from dormancy at the outset of spring is also a joyful reminder of the precious gift of life. The University of Mary and its Department of Music celebrate both with their annual Spring Choir Concert directed by Dr. Tom Porter on Sunday, April 10, at 3 p.m. in Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel in the Benedictine Center for Servant Leadership. The concert is free and open to the public. 

The program showcases a wide variety of choral music, including music from the Renaissance, folksongs, an African American spiritual, and popular Broadway selections.

“Our spring concert features a 20th century masterpiece, ‘Chichester Psalms’ by American composer, conductor and musicologist Leonard Bernstein,” said Porter. “Bernstein wrote this work in 1965, less than ten years after ‘West Side Story.’ You can hear many of the same musical elements in this composition, including sharp dissonances, mixed meters, and exuberant rhythmic energy. The work concludes with Psalm 133:1, ‘How good and pleasant it is for people to dwell together in unity.’ The choir is dedicating its performance to the people of Ukraine.”

Featured performers on the program include Dr. Beverly Everett, conductor of the Bismarck Mandan Symphony Orchestra and organ professor at University of Mary; Michael Langer, piano professor at Mary; and the Mary Percussion Ensemble, directed by Dr. Lucas Bernier.

“As our concert falls on Palm Sunday, we are featuring two settings of a traditional liturgical text, ‘Pueri Hebraeorum,' which translates, ‘The Hebrew children carrying olive branches went out to meet the Lord, shouting and saying, Hosanna in the highest,’” Porter said. “The first setting is by the Renaissance master Palestrina. The second is by the 20th century American composer Randall Thompson. It is interesting preparing two works with the same text and recognizing the similarity in styles despite 400 years between them.”

The program also features Concert Choir and Vocal Jazz, conducted by Porter, who is in his 14th year at the University of Mary. The choir includes students from 14 states who are studying in over 20 different majors. Porter values the diversity the students bring. "The choir members contribute wonderful energy, talent, and focus. Their varied interests and academic pursuits bring depth and substance to daily rehearsals and to performances. The students find choir to be a time of regeneration in the middle of their day; we all leave the rehearsal breathing more intentionally and standing a little taller, our minds and our spirits refreshed."

In addition to Concert Choir, University of Mary Vocal Jazz will perform a number of selections on the program, including the vocal jazz standard, "Pass Me the Jazz" and "Waving through a Window" from the movie and Broadway musical, "Dear Evan Hansen." Vocal Jazz will also perform a piece by North Dakota native Peggy Lee, a well-known and respected singer and composer. "I Love Being Here with You" was arranged for a British car commercial by Jacob Collier, and that version was used as the basis for the arrangement by director Tom Porter. The 11-member ensemble will be touring northwest North Dakota in the days following the concert.

For more information about the concert or the music program, contact or call (701) 355 8301. To learn more about all the academic offerings at the University of Mary visit, or contact an admissions representative at, or by calling (701) 355-8030.

Concert Choir Personnel


Sophia Ahlquist                 Bloomington, MN

Shalae Baumgartner       Mandan, ND

Bernadette Boyle             Federal Way, WA

Elizabeth Dean                  Dickinson, ND

Kira DeMaris                      Sleepy Eye, MN

Lillian Effertz                      Velva, ND

Anna Ingalls                        Bancroft, IA                       

Clara Koop                          Ham Lake, MN

Lauren Koezly                    Ham Lake, MN

Meghan Koezly                 Ham Lake, MN

Mary Kracht                       West St. Paul, MN

Teresa Luke                        Kohler, WI

Abigail Lynch                      Holcombe, WI

Maria Mack                        Rugby, ND

Alexis Maher                      Mandan, ND

Kateri Pantoja                   La Vista, NE

Alyssa Rud                           Bismarck, ND

Maria Schmitz                    Harvey, ND

Alexis Smith                        Jamestown, ND               

Sarah Symalla                    Stillwater, MN


Ben Archuleta                    Bismarck, ND

John Cornwell                    Spokane Valley, OR

Christopher Dill                 St. Paul, MN

Noah Fettig                         Bismarck, ND

Calvin Ikens                        Eagan, MN

Daniel Kane                        Las Vegas, NV

Mike Kenney                     St. Paul, MN      

Zachary King                       Glendale Heights, IL

Brady Saylor                       Bismarck, ND

Lucas Schlosser                 Mandan, ND

Thatcher Solem                Beulah, ND

Graydon Williams             Bismarck, ND    

Matthew Wood                Howard Lake, MN


Ariella Fogel                       Bismarck, ND

Kyia Feyereisen                Mobridge, SD    

Jane Gowen                       Bismarck, ND

Greta Hall                            Brainerd, MN

Theresa Karrmann           Fond Du Lac, WI

Frances Kennedy             Chicago, IL

Laura Kunz                          DeForest, WI

Curstin Larson                   Gilman, MN

Regina McLain                   Downers Grove, IL

Madisyn Mientek             Athens, TX

Lily Moch                             Portland, ND

Kamryn Morrison             Minot, ND

Sarah Pankratz                  Billings, MT

Hannah Ratajzcak            Glyndon, MN

Megan Simones                Eagan, MN

Helena Skidd                      Scottsdale, AZ

Rose Stangler                     Deep River, MN

Mary Storick                       Bismarck, ND

Kaitlin Werner                   East Grand Forks, MN


Fletcher Biby                      Moorhead, MN

Richard Clark                      Turlock, CA

James Dill                             St. Paul, MN

Hunter Fox                          Bismarck, ND    

DeAnte Kehr                      Bismarck, ND

Logan Quinn                       Wilton, ND

Bart Stillwell                       Green Bay, WI

Isaac Trefz                           Onaka, SD

Vocal Jazz Personnel

Rachel Rusch                      Bismarck, ND

Sarah Pankratz                  Billings, MT        

Jane Gowen                       Bismarck, ND

Madison Bartholomay    Sheldon, ND      

Alyssa Rud                           Bismarck, ND    

Hunter Fox                          Bismarck, ND

DeAnte Kehr                      Bismarck, ND

Brady Saylor                       Bismarck, ND

Cooper McDonald            New Market, MN

Noah Fettig                         Bismarck, ND

Ben Archuleta                    Bismarck, ND