Resident Spotlights

Minnesota choral legend Dale Warland, a Lexington Landing resident, celebrates 90 years with a concert at Orchestra Hall

Published:

Share

A 90th birthday calls for a grand celebration surrounded by family and friends who share memories of and appreciation for the person’s life and legacy. Such was the occasion for one of our more famous residents turning 90 – Dale Warland, who lives at Lexington Landing in St. Paul, MN.

Dale is a well-known choral conductor, composer, and founder of the Grammy nominated Dale Warland Singers (DWS). Under his leadership from 1972 to 2004, the 40-voice professional chorus received national and international acclaim. Dale was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

On Sunday March 13, 2022, some of Dale’s neighbors at Lexington Landing filled the community bus and headed to Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis to attend his birthday concert entitled “Dale Warland at 90: A Legacy Celebration.” They were joined by residents and staff from Lake Minnetonka ShoresBoutwells LandingSummerWood of Plymouth and Waverly Gardens, as well as several hundred well-wishers and fans.

Sitting in the first tier at Orchestra Hall, Dale, his wife Ruth and their family enjoyed the concert hosted by “The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists,” conducted by Matthew Culloton, a protégé of Dale and the former assistant conductor of DWS.

The program featured some of Dale’s favorite choral works including ” I Hate and I Love,” by his former collaborator and friend, Dominik Argento. Seventy-eight alumni of DWS were present, sharing the stage with the current members of The Singers during the second half of the concert. They joined in singing two works including “The Road Home,” by the former St. Paul composer, Stephen Paulus.

Keeping with Dale’s love of new musical works, the concert featured the world premiere of “Changed by Beauty” by composer Timothy Takach and lyric poet Brian Newhouse, a DWS alum. Brian told the audience, “Dale once said to me, ‘Nothing is stronger than beauty.’ And that has never left me because it’s so audacious.”

A video montage of tributes and memories from former Dale Warland Singers was interspersed though the musical program. Dale’s friends poignantly recalled his love and dedication to the music, his tenacious discipline and the respect he gave to his singers. Of course, they also shared those special stories about Dale that made the audience laugh.

Throughout the concert, Dale could be seen raising both hands in the air in praise and appreciation for the performance. He said, “I realized, after hearing the concert, that I have been lucky to have spent most of my productive years in something that I deeply love – choral music. And then, to learn that this work has brought meaning, beauty, fulfillment and joy to so many – who could ask for anything more?”

The concert ended with a standing ovation, and Lexington Landing residents gathered in the lobby to talk about the afternoon’s experience. One resident extolled, “It was wonderful! I’m so glad we came. I was a Dale Warland fan for years!”

Another said that they were eager to get back to Lexington Landing “so we can tell Dale how fabulous it was to celebrate with him. We really enjoy having him as a neighbor!”

Courtney Jenderny, Lexington Landing campus administrator, joined in the accolades. “We are honored to serve Dale and Ruth and feel lucky that so many of our residents and team members were able to help celebrate his birthday and accomplishments.”

The feeling is mutual says Dale. “Ruth and I have found Lexington Landing to be an opportunity to live in a beautiful, comfortable [community] among wonderful caring staff and friendly, equally caring residents.”

Dale’s actual birthday is coming up on April 14. Happy Birthday, Dale, and all our residents who have reached 90+ years. Their contributions are legendary and we hope they have many more birthdays to come.

Listen to The Singers’ choral celebration of Dale’s 90th birthday here!

Find out more about Lexington Landing and other Presbyterian Homes & Services communities.

Share

Subscribe

Get news, stories and updates on PHS communities, residents and employees, plus resourceful information on living well!

More stories