Rene Clausen is an American Composer and has been the conductor of the Concordia Choir in Moorhead, Minnesota since 1986.
He is also the professor of music at Concordia. Before he was a world-renowned composer and conductor. He was birthed in 1953 and raised in California and eventually moved to Iowa, and graduated from Wilton Senior High School in Wilton and then went on to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and graduated with generals.
Then he received his Master of Music Performance and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Illinois, in Urbana. Before Concordia in Moorhead, Rene was a professor at West Texas State University and Wichita State University. One interesting thing that Dr. Rene Clausen did, is that. In the summer of 1998, Rene established the first Rene Clausen Choral School held on the campus of Concordia College. There were around sixty three participants from twenty seven states. This was much more than a reading workshop this was an intense five day program for choral conductors focusing on conducting and rehearsal technique as well as performance practice issues, elements of choral ensemble, tonal development and daily reading sessions of new music. Some of his compositions have been performed by The King’s Singers, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the American Choral Directors.
Some of his most famous pieces included the “MEMORIAL” and “Crying for a Dream” for the American Choral Directors Association. In 1996, he was named the Paul J. and Eleanor Christansen Chair in Choral at Concordia. His work of “Life and Breath: Choral Works by Rene Clausen” a 13- track recording by the Kansas City Chorale was awarded two Grammy Awards in 2013, including Best Choral Performance. He has also conducted All-State choirs in more than fifteen states. His compositions and arrangements are published by Roger Dean Publishing Company, E.
C Schirmer, Shawnee Press in the Mark Foster Catalog, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, Hal Leonard, and Walton and Augsburg Fortress. I personally have sang a bunch of Dr. Rene Clausen’s work but one of my favorite ones that I did not sing would be In Pace. In Pace is performed as SSATTBB.
Concordia performed it and it was one of my favorite ones to listen to because it has an slower tempo which I like. This piece makes me think of the glorious gift that God gave us. This song does not have any instrumentation besides piano. One thing that stuck out to me in this song was the dynamics and how much that added to the song. The overall tone of this song is sad to me because it is a slower tempo which I really like because I like to think when I listen to music.
This song is an English spoken song. I could not find the background to why he wrote this song but I am guessing it does have a significant meaning. (https://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=2JfCYfnXQGg) Another song I personally liked was O Magnum Mysterium. I sang this song with the Minnesota All State Lutheran Choir. O Magnum Mysterium was one of my favorite pieces from all of the music that we sang on the tour. O Magnum Mysterium made me think about church and church music it was a very strong sounding song and very powerful.
I also like how it started slower and eventually gained some speed. This song also does not have instrumentation that I could find besides piano. This piece stuck out to me because of how powerful it sounded. This is a sadder song in my opinion but still really powerful especially at the beginning. This song is in French. I also could not find the back story to why he wrote this song but again it probably has a very significant meaning.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAb86Jjxcgw) The last song I chose was a Jubilant Song this song is one of the music pieces that we sang last year. Jubilant Song was sang in SABT. We sang a type of a Jubilant Song last year as well. It was a very powerful sounding song. This song I also could not find any instrumentation on besides piano.
It also is a very powerful sounding song. I liked the use of dynamics in this song as well it really added to the music. I like the soprano part as well I think that this would be a very good song to sing. The soloist was a very terrific singer as well. The overall sounding of this peace is kind of sad but happy at the same time it was just a really good song. This song is a English spoken song. I could not find the backstory for this one as well. (https://www.
youtube.com/watch?v=RYJPV5DGfAA)Rene Clausen is a very well known composer and conductor in Minnesota and throughout the world he has powerful and moving songs. I like how this composer has more of the slower songs that make you think when you listen to the music. Also his music makes you fully locked into what you are listening to which is a very big impact to how you perceive the music.
Of course my favorite song that I have probably have ever sang in a choir would be the O Magnum Mysterium. I just really like the overall tone of it and how it starts quiet and slow and then gets louder. I just really love all the dynamics in it. Rene Clausen would be in my opinion one of my favorite American Composers of all time. He really has a way with music and touching people’s hearts through it.
Rene Clausen’s web site is non existent but there is a website for his choral school which is http://www.reneclausen.com/bioninfo/biography.