Clausen to Retire After 2019-20 Academic Year

Dr. René Clausen announces his retirement.

Dr. René Clausen announced that he will retire following the 2019-20 academic year, concluding his service as professor of music and conductor of The Concordia Choir.

“I have been very blessed to have been conductor of The Concordia Choir for the past 33 years,” Clausen says. “I am particularly grateful to the many hundreds of students I have had the privilege to teach about music and life in our journey of making music together. I look forward to a final year of planning and developing the Christmas Concert, shaping our tour program, and the daily process of rehearsing the family known as The Concordia Choir.”

Clausen is a leader in choral music as both a conductor and a composer. He is the artistic director of the Concordia Christmas Concerts. In addition to composing arrangements and original pieces for Concordia ensembles, he has written dozens of commissioned compositions including “MEMORIAL” and “Crying for a Dream” for the American Choral Directors Association. Clausen was also commissioned by Concordia to create a major work in observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The work is titled “The Passion of Jesus Christ” and premiered at Orchestra Hall in 2017.

President William Craft noted in an announcement to the Concordia community that throughout his work at the college Clausen has lived the mission of The Concordia Choir “to uphold a sacred choral tradition through the uncompromising and unrelenting collaborative pursuit of musical integrity and spiritual expression.” 

“[Dr. Clausen’s] artistic direction of the Concordia Christmas Concerts, on campus and at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, has quickened the spirits and lifted the hearts of audiences young and old, giving voice to the soul of Concordia College,” Craft says. “The experience of his students has modelled the life of discovery and service to which Concordia aspires.”

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