Chancellor’s Concert April 17

Annual event will mark the retirement of conductors Dan Presgrave and John Stewart

Between them, Dan Presgrave, conductor of the Washington University Symphony Orchestra, and John Stewart, director of the Washington University Concert Choir, have taught in the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences for a combined total of almost 60 years.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, April 17, the pair will join forces one last time for the 2011 Chancellor’s Concert. The annual event will serve as a farewell performance for both Presgrave and Stewart, who are retiring at the end of the semester.

“We are extremely grateful to Dan and John for their many years of music-making at Washington University,” says Dolores Pesce, PhD, professor and chair of music. “They have influenced the lives of our students in very direct ways through their dedicated teaching and advising.”

John Stewart

The Chancellor’s Concert is free and open to the public and will take place in the 560 Music Center’s E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall.

The program will feature the “Lord Nelson Mass” by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809). Originally titled Missa in angustiis, (“Mass in the Time of Distress”), the piece was written in 1798, as war swept across Europe and hostilities grew between Britain and Napoleonic France. It acquired its nickname in 1800, following a meeting between the composer and Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, the celebrated British naval commander who defeated the French in the Battle of the Nile (1798).

Soloists will be Greg Storkan, a master’s candidate in vocal performance, as well as three recent alumni: Megan Higgins (MA ’05), Clark Sturdevant (MA ’05) and Debra Hillabrand (MA ’05), the latter of whom now teaches voice in the department.

Also on the program will be the first movement of the Violin Concerto in D minor by Aram Khachaturian (1903-78), featuring senior Lily Kuo as soloist; and English Dances by Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006).

The 560 Music Center is located at 560 Trinity Ave., at the intersection with Delmar Boulevard. For more information, call (314) 935-5566 or email

Presgrave joined the music faculty in 1972. In addition to leading the Symphony Orchestra, he teaches instrumental conducting and is music director/conductor for the Washington University Wind Ensemble.

He also serves as music director/conductor of the Mighty Mississippi Concert Band of Saint Louis and the Saint Louis Wind Symphony, and is president of P&P Educational Services, where he teaches trumpet and baritone horn.

Stewart, who joined the music faculty in 1990, has sung with leading opera companies and orchestras throughout Europe and the United States, including the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera and The Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

In addition to leading the Concert Choir, he served as the music department’s director of vocal activities and taught private voice, vocal pedagogy and vocal literature.

Calendar Summary

WHO: Washington University Concert Choir and Washington University Symphony Orchestra

WHAT: 2011 Chancellor’s Concert

WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday, April 17

WHERE: E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall, 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave.

PROGRAM: Music of Franz Joseph Haydn, Aram Khachaturian and Malcolm Arnold

COST: Free and open to the public

INFORMATION: (314) 935-5566 or