Assistant Professor of Music Ryan Smit and the Dordt University Concert Choir will present a lecture recital at 7:30 p.m. on November 11 in the B.J. Haan Auditorium.
This event will feature a 30-minute lecture on the topic “20th Century Dutch Composers: An Analysis of Selected Psalm Settings” followed by a 30-minute concert featuring choral performances of several Psalm settings. This recital is in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Smit’s Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from North Dakota State University.
Smit chose to focus on 20th century Dutch composers for his research as it had some relevance for the Dordt community. “The Dutch heritage of Psalm singing and the importance of organ in Dutch choral music were good fits with some of the values and strengths of Dordt’s music program,” he says. “I have discovered that there are several beautiful and complex settings of the Psalms that are not performed very often but have great musical value because of the strong relationship between text and music that those pieces demonstrate.”
He also enjoyed delving into the heritage of Dutch choral music and Psalm setting, particularly in the late Renaissance, early Baroque eras, and the 20th century.
Smit’s research focused primarily on three 20th century composers: Hendrik Andriessen (1892-1981), Albert de Klerk (1917-98), and Daan Manneke (b. 1939). These composers are widely published and have written several settings of the Psalms.
“I hope concert-goers will discover some new works and new Dutch composers that they may not have heard of before,” he says. “I also hope they will enjoy learning a bit more of the history of the use and musical setting of the biblical Psalms through history and in the Netherlands in particular.”
Smit says he enjoyed learning from very experienced and knowledgeable professors during his time at North Dakota State University, but he is also glad to be back on Dordt’s campus.
“I appreciate working in a place that holds firmly to its founding vision of professing the lordship of Christ in all areas of life,” he says. “I believe music achieves its highest form when it is offered as a sacrifice of praise to God the creator, and student singers and I have the freedom and opportunity at Dordt to engage in that kind of musical offering of worship in every rehearsal and concert we are a part of.”
To learn more about Dordt’s music program, visit Dordt.edu/music.
About Dordt University
As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by the Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education, Forbes.com, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.