News - 9/19/10

Homecoming celebration set for Sept. 24-26

Valpo will welcome home hundreds of alumni from across the country for a celebration of Valpo's proud heritage and exciting future during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend.

Taking place Sept. 24 to 26, Valpo alumni, students, faculty and staff will join together to celebrate the anniversary of the University's founding, the new Crusader mascot's first Homecoming appearance and a variety of athletics events, concerts and other activities.

Alumni arriving on campus Friday, Sept. 24, will participate in sessions discussing how the Valpo community lives its values and character, tour recently built facilities that are enhancing the learning and living environment, and enjoy Founders Day. Valpo, which was established in 1859, celebrates Founders Day on the fourth Friday in September in recognition of the University's academic year starting in late September earlier in its history.

Activities on Friday will conclude with a public fireworks show starting at 8:30 p.m. in Resurrection Meadow between the Chapel of the Resurrection and the Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources.

Athletic events scheduled for the weekend include the Homecoming football game at 1 p.m. Saturday versus Drake University, a volleyball match versus IUPUI at 6 p.m. Saturday, and men's soccer matches versus the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at 7 p.m. Friday and versus Wright State University at 6 p.m. Sunday.

For the second consecutive year, the Homecoming football game will be preceded by an Oktoberfest celebration on the lawn west of Harre Union. The event will feature traditional German food, live music performed by The Deutsch-Meisters oom-pah band, free polka lessons provided by students in VU Ballroom and Das Kindereck, a children's corner hosted by Valpo's German Club, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The International Food Bazaar, featuring traditional foods in some of the 50 nations from which Valpo students come, will take place adjacent to Oktoberfest.

Other Homecoming activities include:

  • Homecoming Coronation and Barbecue featuring the crowning of Valpo's Homecoming King and Queen at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, on the Harre Union lawn.
  • Homecoming Choral Concert featuring the Valpo Chorale, Men's Chorus and Women's Chorus at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, in the Chapel of the Resurrection.
  • "Dazzling Image," a Homecoming concert featuring the Valpo Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, in the Chapel of the Resurrection.
  • "Shakespeare Under the Stars," an annual Valpo tradition in which members of Valpo's national honorary theater fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega, perform Shakespeare scenes and monologues at 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, in Resurrection Meadow.
  • Alumni recital featuring Valpo graduates Katie Johnson, French horn; John Nevergall, tenor; and Mark Bilyeu, piano, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26, in the Center for the Arts.
  • "Dancing with the VU Stars," pairing eight Valpo faculty and staff members with a student from Valpo's student ballroom team at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26, in the Harre Union Ballroom. All proceeds will be donated to charity organizations selected by the winning faculty or staff members.
Tickets to the Homecoming Choral Concert and Symphony Orchestra concert are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and non-Valpo students, and free for Valpo students, faculty and staff. They may be purchased by calling the Valpo Box Office at (219) 464-5162, online at or at the door.


The Harre Union will serve as Homecoming headquarters. Alumni may register for activities, pick up event passes and browse University memorabilia from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Reunion-class gatherings are planned throughout the weekend, including a celebration featuring the Valpo Faculty Jazz Trio for the classes of 1960, 1965 and the Brown and Gold Club Saturday evening in the Harre Union Ballroom, and a Friday luncheon with Valpo's president, Mark Heckler.

For more information about activities taking place during the weekend, visit Valpo's Homecoming Web site at or call the Homecoming Hotline at (800) 833-6792 ext. 23.

Choral concert to recognize longtime professor, composer

Three choirs will perform during a Sept. 25 concert that will recognize the late Richard Wienhorst, a longtime professor and influential church music composer..

The Chorale, one of the nation's premier Lutheran collegiate ensembles, will be joined by the Men's and Women's Choirs for the Homecoming Choral Concert at 4 p.m. in the Chapel of the Resurrection on campus. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and students and free for Valpo faculty, staff and students, and may be purchased by calling the Valpo Box Office at (219) 464-5162 or online at

The concert will feature a tribute to Wienhorst, with the performance of selections from his "Missa Brevis," hailed as one of the core choral works of the 20th century, and his motet "God, Who Made the Earth And Heaven," based on an old Welsh tune.

Wienhorst graduated from Valparaiso University in 1942 and served in World War II, leading the 45th Armored Regiment Band, before joining the University's music faculty in 1946. Many of his more than 200 published works were composed with the Chapel of the Resurrection in mind.

"Richard was a respected composer and musician whose influence continues to be felt here at Valpo and beyond," said Joseph Bognar, chair of Valpo's Department of Music. "His 'Missa Brevis' and 'Magnificat' are among his most prominent works and continue to be widely performed by choral ensembles. Richard also led the introduction of electronic and taped music into the Lutheran liturgy, creating an electronic studio from scratch at Valpo in the 1970s."

In addition to the works by Wienhorst, the concert will include James Syler's "Dear Sarah," a setting of the renowned Civil War letter written by Major Sullivan Ballou to his wife a week before he was mortally wounded at First Battle of Bull Run; the melting harmonies of Victor C. Johnson's "In Time of Silver Rain," a setting of Langston Hughes' reflective poem; a number of Psalm settings and "Taw Tanbou" by Haitian composer Sydney Gullaume.

The Chorale ( is the premier choral ensemble at Valpo and upholds the highest standards of choral art through performance of the greatest choral literature of all eras. It has received praise for its performances of works representing the University's Lutheran character as well as contemporary works expressing multicultural perspectives. The 48-voice ensemble sustains its mission of excellence through campus performances, recording and annual tours throughout the United States and overseas.

In May 2010, the Chorale's Germany tour ( was highlighted by its third residency at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, where J.S. Bach worked for 27 years while composing many of his most famous works. The Chorale is the only collegiate choir from the U.S. ever invited to serve a residency at the church.

The Men's and Women's Choirs are based on a glee club model and specialize in lighter choral repertoire.

The Chorale and Men's Choir are conducted by Dr. Christopher M. Cock, chair of Lutheran music and director of the Valpo Bach Institute, and the Women's Choir is conducted by Maura Janton Cock, lecturer in music and administrative assistant for the Bach Institute (

More information about Valpo's Department of Music, including upcoming concerts and recitals, is available online at or by calling the Center for the Arts at (219) 464-5162. The public also is invited to sign up for a monthly e-mail message that will announce upcoming Valpo visual and performing arts news and events at