57° Clarksville
West Creek High's Student News Site

The Coyote Caller

The Coyote Caller

The Coyote Caller

Emmy-winning composer Jake Runestad to conduct APSU Choir Fest with free concert

Jake Runestad

Grammy-nominated and Emmy-winning composer and conductor, Jake Runestad, will appear at Austin Peay State University (APSU) to conduct this year’s Choir Fest on March 21, closing the day with a free concert at 5:30 p.m. in Mabry Concert Hall. Located inside the Music/Mass Communication building, this performance is free and open to the public thanks to the sponsorship of the Center of Excellence in the Creative Arts and the Acuff Chair of Excellence.

This year, the APSU Choir Fest and the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System (CMCSS) Honor Choir are joining forces, providing more singers with the chance to engage with Jake Runestad.

Named a “choral rockstar” by American Public Media and “one of the best young composers” by the Chicago Tribune, Runestad earned his first Emmy Award in 2022 for his musical composition “Earth Symphony”. In 2020, Runestad’s music was featured on the Grammy-nominated album “The Hope of Loving – Choral Music of Jake Runestad” by the professional choir Conspirare. In 2018, he was the youngest composer to be awarded the Raymond W. Brock Commission from the American Choral Directors Association.

Believing music can make positive change, Jake has created compositions that touch on themes such as climate crisis, gender equality, and suicide awareness and prevention. A portion of his proceeds from music sales are donated to non-profit organizations that are connected to the themes of his projects. On top of composing and conducting music, Runestad is sought after for workshops, speaking engagements, and residencies around the country.

Since 1985, the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts has been providing students, the Clarksville community, and the middle Tennessee region with engaging experiences through the Art + Design, Music, Theatre & Dance, and Creative Writing programs at APSU.

About Choir Fest

Each year, the APSU Department of Music organizes an event open to middle and high school singers from Tennessee and Kentucky. Participants spend the day rehearsing with guest clinicians and APSU faculty, culminating in an afternoon concert. Choir Fest features performances by the Choral Union and the APSU Choirs. Check out apsu.edu/music for a full list of events hosted by the APSU Department of Music.