Performance Schedule

Mozart VespersSalzburg

Chorus Polaris, Minnesota's virtuoso chamber choir, offers a rare performance of Mozart's Vespers, accompanied by the outstanding early-music orchestra Ensemble Étoile du Nord.

Astonishing grace and sublime virtuosity... Mozart brought every ounce of his craft and inspiration to composing this second set of Vespers. The music bridges his deep spirituality and his fervent Enlightenment spirit. Traces of operatic style infuse humanity in this sacred masterpiece. 

Our concert features world premieres of music by Justin Rubin and Jonathan Posthuma. Also on the program: Mozart's Ukrainian contemporary Dmitry Bortniansky and the German Renaissance master Hans Leo Hassler.

Sunday, April 24, 3:00 PM
First Lutheran Church
1555 40th Ave NE
Columbia Heights
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About Vespers About Dmitry Bortniansky About Hans Leo Hassler

Featured Soloists:

Kristin Maurant
Kristin img 9870 100Kristin Morant sings the Soprano solo in Mozart's Vespers. Audiences from Carnegie Hall to the Minnesota Opera have caught Kristin-fever with her performances!


Daniel Smith
20140909 Daniel Publicity Photo 100Daniel Smith sings the baritone solo in Mozart's Vespers. Years of singing with distinguished opera companies in Europe, New York, and Santa Fe have made his sound warm and lovely.

Stephanie Dunkirk
Stephanie final 1 150 croppedStephanie Dunkirk
sings the alto solo in Mozart's Vespers . An instrumentalist and accomplished singer-songwriter, she is a Vocal Performance graduate from Minnesota State University-Moorhead, studying under Dr. Jenny Dufault. She has performed with the Minnesota Chorale & Kantorei, and currently serves as Alto Section Leader for St Paul's United Church of Christ in St Paul, MN,


Christopher Sung-Kyo Hanson
Christopher S-K Hanson OFFICIAL
Christopher Sung-Kyo Hanson sings the tenor solo in Mozart's Vespers. He studied voice with David Judisch at Luther College and received his M.M. in viola performance from the University of Minnesota. Christopher is currently an attorney practicing in Minneapolis.



World Premier Composers and their Works

Jonathan Posthuma - Year That Trembled

Posthuma introduced-cropped 100Jonathan Posthuma specifically composed for Chorus Polaris to complement the Mozart Vespers.

Walt Whitman is an American "psalmist," who remains hopeful and confident about his ideals, much like the psalmists who express joy even in their distress and ask for God's continued blessing on His people.

Whitman's "Year That Trembled" is so applicable to modern circumstances. His words set the tone for Mozart's beautiful songs of confession and praise, which are a fitting answer to Whitman's question: "Must I change my triumphant songs? ... Must I indeed learn to chant the cold dirges of the baffled, And sullen hymns of defeat?"

Jonathan Posthuma is a freelance composer in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He recently completed his Masters of Music Composition at the University of Wisconsin - Madison where is studied with Stephen Dembski and Laura Schwendinger.

He is a graduate of Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA where he received a degree in Secondary Music Education: Choral/Instrumental and a minor in Theatre and studied composition with Dr. Luke Dahn.

His music for “The Glass Menagerie” was honored by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and most recently, his"Fili di Perle” (Strings of Pearls) 2015 for orchestra won 3rd prize in the Karol Szymanowski Composition Competition in Poland.

His musical style seeks to combine lyricism, evocative imagery, and intense emotional contrasts, yet maintains clarity in form and function at their deepest levels.

Dr. Justin Rubin - Antiphon for Brass and Organ

Rubin photo umd 100Antiphon for Brass and Organ was composed late in 2015 as a companion to the Mozart church sonatas. It is one of the pieces that expanded upon the composer's interest in the adoption of a more clearly defined tonal language.

 Dr. Rubin received his Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Arizona.

He is currently Professor of Composition/Theory, Music Technology,and Organ/Piano at the University of Minnesota Duluth, and is Chair of the Music Theory and Composition Program. He is the artistic director of the UMD annual New Music Festival.

Dr. Rubin has received awards and recognition from the University of Minnesota, American Composers Forum, University of Minnesota Duluth, and the Minnesota Sinfonia. He was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers, and was recipient of a 2008-09 Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, which represents the University's highest recognition of its most distinguished scholar-teachers.


Concert Program

1. Church Sonata - Johann Joseph Fux (organ & strings)

2. Cantate Domino canticum novum - Hans Leo Hassler

3. spoken word: Before creation a presence existed... - Laozi

4. Vespers I, Dixit Dominus

5. spoken word: To worship God is nothing other... - Saadi

6. Antiphon - Justin Rubin (organ & brass)

7. Vespers II, Confitebor - 8. spoken word: Psalm 1 - Mitchell

9. Bright is the ring of words - Ralph Vaughan Williams (Dan Smith & Donald Livingston)

10. Vespers III, Beatus vir

11. spoken word: Scene at Daybreak - Whitman

12. Year that trembled - Jonathan Posthuma

13. Vespers IV, Laudate pueri

14. spoken word: This life is not a state of righteousness… - Luther

15. Heruvimskaya Pesn - Dmitry Bortniansky

16. Vespers V, Laudate dominum

17. Vespers VI. Magnificat


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