When Joshua Prichard ’19 was a high school student in Las Cruces, N.M., his choir conductor – a Concordia Choir alum – thought he’d be a good fit for the choral music program at Concordia.
Despite changing his major from music to global studies, Prichard agrees he’s benefitting from that recommendation.
“Every day, I’m learning something new from the man who has prepared scores of choral conductors in the U.S. and abroad,” Prichard says. “Singing for Dr. Clausen is a special experience. It’s much more than learning music. It’s learning about history and art, how events in the world affect us, about what should be important to us and how we can express ourselves.”
Prichard also appreciates the time he spends observing Clausen’s conducting techniques. He says Clausen has a very emotive, flowing style of conducting that engages an emotional response from each choir member.
“Being able to connect with him on a personal level when we sing completes the circle of the choir experience for me,” he says.
Like others in the choir, Prichard has become a fan of J.S. Bach.
“His compositions are complicated,” he says. “He wrote at a high intellectual level and singing a Bach motet is a challenge but fun.”
Prichard relished singing in Bach’s home church in Germany last summer.
“We were singing where he composed his music,” he says. “I gained a deeper understanding of the roots of his music from being in that magnificent place.”
Participating in the choir’s 2017 tour in Germany and Austria to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and Concordia’s 125th anniversary fit perfectly with Prichard’s global studies major, which concentrates on the theme of worlds in dialogue. His studies include a full year of Chinese language instruction, and Prichard is now focusing on the many aspects of communication between societies and cultures.
“I’m pairing that with an interfaith studies minor because I think religion is also very important in understanding how different cultures and societies work together,” he says. ”My high school choir conductor was right – Concordia has expanded my horizons and how I see the world.”
The Concordia Choir national tour runs through March 11.