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Weston Noble - Choral Conductor

Weston Noble visits with Tony Araujo and St. Patrick's in Vancouver

By Rosemary Phillips, March 2007

Weston Noble
INTRO: East Vancouver’s St. Pats choral director, Tony Araujo, was head over heels with excitement. One of the world’s most important living choral conductors, and, one of Araujo’s mentors, Weston Noble, was coming to Vancouver to workshop the international award winning St. Patrick Regional Secondary’s concert and chamber choirs. Tony, who is himself known internationally for his excellence in directing (follow this link for another article on Tony Araujo’s work) explained that Mr. Noble was to work with the senior choirs at St. Patrick’s Church and would conduct a closing concert featuring all the choirs.

Weston Noble - genius and compassionate

Noble, 85, retired in 2005 from his 57 years as choral director with Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He has been paramount to Araujo’s work as a choral artist. “The man is a genius and also a charismatic and soulful caring individual who inspires students from a place of deep compassion and love for the choral arts. He is like a kindred spirit,” adds a passionate Araujo who has studied and worked extensively over the last 11 years with the transformational capacity of choral music. “He has worked with my groups when we go to international festivals, but to have him come to Vancouver to work with us is so humbling for me. And I want to share this with anyone who teaches or has an interest in choral music or is a member of a choir – or anyone who wants to listen.”

Music that creates a community of peace

It’s about music that speaks to the whole person. “What I’m trying to do,” explains Araujo, “is to help students feel the emotion, the intelligence – to feel something in the music that resonates with their own experiences, to create a container that moves the audience to a place where they too become the music. It’s one thing to perform technically, but the purpose of art is to move and to be transformed, to sing the music so that it transports us and creates a community of peace.”

Tony Araujo

Weston Noble has inspired thousands

Noble, who has conducted every honours All-State choir and orchestra in the US, senses this. In fact, the joy and transforming experience of music has been the centrepiece of Noble’s teaching. His energy and enthusiasm, whether directing a choir of international stature or a junior high school ensemble, has inspired and influenced students to seek their highest level of talent. He has been the light, the guide and the mentor for countless thousands of people who have found their calling and their spiritual awakening through their experience with music.

Anyone who knows choral music knows Weston Noble

Adds Araujo, “I spent some time with him this past week at the American Choral Director’s Association National Convention, in Miami and we couldn’t walk two minutes without stopping and meeting with someone else who knows him. In fact, anyone involved with choral music in the US knows him. Since he retired he has worked just about every single weekend. He is constantly in demand.”

The oneness of choral music

But let us not forget the kids at St. Pats. “It’s about the excitement of youth,” continues Araujo. “Choral music is about deep listening, about listening to each other. It not only changes the singer but the entire audience. Boundaries between singers, director and audience blur. There is oneness.”

Follow this link for another article on this web site about Tony Araujo and his work.


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Copyright Rosemary Phillips, Quills Quotes & Notes Enterprises, 2013
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