St. Norbert College located in downtown De Pere, Wis announced the upcoming dedication of the newly renovated De Pere’s St. Boniface Church. Situated on the corners of Grant and Fourth streets, it will be dedicated as Dudley Birder Hall at noon on Thursday, Feb. 14.
The dedication is an invite-only event, but a concert open to the public celebrating the dedication will be held that evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Walter Theatre, Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts on the St. Norbert College campus. The public concert will feature the Dudley Birder Chorale of St. Norbert College, the St. Norbert College Chamber Singers and the St. Norbert College Concert Choirs.
“This is a wonderful tribute to Dudley Birder and all he has meant to St. Norbert College and, really, the entire community,” said St. Norbert College President Thomas Kunkel. “For more than half a century he has taught and influenced countless students and touched the lives of everyone in this region who loves music and musical theater. And since so much of his work has been devoted to sacred music, we think it is especially apt that the newest incarnation of this grand old church will be called Dudley Birder Hall.”
The college spent $1.7 million on the project, which was supported by donors. The project converted the church into performance space, especially for music. It will hold about 200 seats and will be used for recitals, chamber concerts and public lectures. It will also be used for Dudley Birder Chorale rehearsals. Much of the work inside the church involved the installation of professionally designed, custom-made acoustical materials for state-of-the-art sound quality.
Dudley Birder joined the St. Norbert College music faculty in 1958, and over the past five decades he has developed and led musical initiatives that have brought together the campus and local communities. More history on Dudley Birder can be found at www.snc.edu/birderchorale/history. Tickets for the concert are $15.00 and available at the St. Norbert College Box Office, online at www.tickets.snc.edu or by calling 920-403-3950.
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