Long-Time Faculty Member Kent Christensen Remembered at Spring Concert

Annual School of Music performance honoring late professor takes place April 24 at the Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany

April 22, 2014

This year, the School of Music’s annual Spring Concert will be dedicated to former Liberal Arts faculty member Kent Christensen, who passed away on March 23, 2014, after a long illness. The memorial concert will take place on April 24 at 8 p.m. at the Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany in Philadelphia (330 South 13th Street). Admission is free.

The concert will feature the 90-voice University Chorus, the Handbell Ensemble and a cappella group OcTonics, conducted by Associate Professor Jeffrey Kern. The program will focus on 20th and 21st-century a cappella literature, including Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” Thompson’s “Alleluia,” Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium,” Whitacre’s “Cloudburst” and Guillaume’s “Twa Tanbou” sung in Haitian Creole. The Handbell Ensemble will perform arrangements of Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” Verdi’s “Anvil Chorus” and Gershwin’s “Prelude.”

Born in 1935 in Utah, Christensen earned an AB from Columbia University in 1957 and an MA in English from the University of Connecticut in 1960. He started teaching at the University of the Arts in 1971, directing the General Studies Division of the then Philadelphia Musical Academy (PMA). In 1976, when PMA became the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (PCPA), Christensen was appointed college librarian and built both the general collection and the performing arts resources. After PCPA’s merger with the Philadelphia College of Art in 1985, Christensen continued teaching in the Liberal Arts Division of the new University of the Arts until his retirement in 1997. He is remembered fondly as a devoted teacher, a great colleague, and a gentle and caring man.

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