Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Kent Paulsen Named to Lead Noteworthy Dudley Birder Chorale

Dudley Birder Chorale of St. Norbert College_1524862796250.jpg.jpg

Kent Paulsen, who is active in many ways in the region’s music circles, has been named artistic director of the Dudley Birder Chorale of St. Norbert College.

The chorale is best known for its annual “Holiday Pops” showcase at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts. The chorale also presents large-scale classical works throughout its season. Typically made up of 150 singers, the chorale draws its members from 30 communities in the area.

According to a press release: Paulsen will accept the baton from the chorale’s namesake, Dudley Birder, who founded the chorale in 1974 and will retire June 1.

“We are delighted that Kent will step into this role, carrying on the rich tradition of exceptional choral music at St. Norbert College. His talent and dedication make him the perfect person to build on the legacy of his predecessor, Dudley Birder,” said St. Norbert College President Brian Bruess.

Paulsen is the director and founder of the Knights on Broadway of St. Norbert College, a high-energy show troupe of student singers. (The group’s next performances are May 10-12 and 17-19). He teaches in the college’s music department.

Paulsen also was associate conductor and pianist for the Dudley Birder Chorale.

He is the administrator of the Youth Orchestra Program at St. Norbert. (The orchestra’s 50-year celebration concert is May 6 at the Weidner Center).

Paulsen currently serves as the worship and music coordinator at Calvary Lutheran Church.  

“Having worked closely with the chorale in different capacities for more than 20 years, I am excited to pursue many areas where the chorale can grow, evolve and explore,” Paulsen said.

Paulsen has been a music director for Music Theatre of St. Norbert College for the past 16 summer seasons.

He has been involved in many other local and regional choral and music theater productions as a director, conductor, soloist and performer.  He is also a keyboard accompanist for touring Broadway productions at Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton.

Paulsen has a master’s degree in choral conducting and music education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The Dudley Birder Chorale of St. Norbert College will close its current season with “America Sings” at 7:30 p.m. May 4 and May 5 with Dudley Birder conducting. 

Contact me at warren.gerds@wearegreenbay.com. Watch for my on-air Critic at Large editions on WFRV-TV at 6:20 a.m. Sundays.

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