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Great Northern Union Chorus

Great Northern Union Chorus


The Great Northern Union is a premier a cappella male chorus in the upper Midwest region dedicated to the performance, education, promotion, encouragement and preservation of high quality vocal music, primarily in the barbershop style.

The Great Northern Union (GNU) was founded in 1985 with the goal of becoming one of the nation's best men's choruses. Since its inception the organization has entertained thousands with high-energy performances, appealing collaborations, and consistent achievement both regionally and nationally.

85 members strong, the GNU is an auditioned men's a cappella chorus based out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area but includes members from the upper-Midwest region including Wisconsin, Iowa and North Dakota. While our roots originate in barbershop harmony, the GNU bridges music genres that include gospel, pop, jazz, classical, and modern a cappella.

Most recently the GNU has developed an annual concert season featuring four GNU produced collaboration concerts that are performed throughout our calendar season. Past collaborations include Luther College Norsemen, St. Olaf Viking Chorus, Singing Statesmen from Iowa State University, Cantus, Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS) Gold Medalist Quartets Four Voices, Vocal Spectrum, Realtime, Happiness Emporium and OC Times, The Metropolitan Boys Choir, Land of Lakes Choirboys, The Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir with Robert Robinson, Marcoux Corner, The Blenders, 4Given, and various local collegiate and high school vocal ensembles.

The GNU strives to deliver emotionally charged messages with precise harmonies through our music. If you are interested in the high impact harmonies of the GNU and would like information on how to become a member click here.

The Great Northern Union is a premier a cappella male chorus in the upper p>The GNU has performed all over the US and Canada as well as an annual concert tour. Historical performances include: The North Central American Choral Directors Convention, Minnesota Music Educators Convention, National Anthems; Minnesota Vikings, Twins and Timberwolves and many Midwest guest performances. The GNU has competed in the BHS competition 21 times in its history and placed in the top 10 each time, with eight trips to the medalist circle. Our most recent International competition placed us third.

Over 90 members strong and growing, the GNU over its history has been recognized for its precise harmonies and high impact message. A chapter member of the Barbershop Harmony Society (Hilltop, MN Chapter), the GNU has had the opportunity to entertain in cities all over North America, Nashville, Louisville, Miami, Kansas City, Anaheim, Portland, Atlanta, Calgary, Montreal, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Madison, Appleton, Green Bay Decorah and Fargo. In Minnesota, the GNU has performed in Duluth, Appleton, Faribault, Fairmont, Moorhead, Stillwater, St Cloud, Rochester, Waconia, Minneapolis, St Paul, Lakeville, Brooklyn Center, Mahtomedi, St Louis Park, Hopkins, Plymouth, Bloomington, Northfield, Richfield and Eden Prairie.


Displaying 1-3 of 3 items.

Great Northern Union Chorus : Evolution : 00  1 CD : Roger Williams : 

Great Northern Union Chorus : Evolution

Review: For 15 years running, the pride of Hilltop, MN has taken the stage at the International Championships at the Barbershop Harmony Society, more appearances than any other chorus. "Evolution" is a live "best-of" CD of 17 songs that traces the group's progress through the years, beginning with brash enthusiasm and a clean, aggressive sound like 1989's "I Was Married Medley," 1991's "Rose Colored Glasses" and the wonderful ballad "Forgive Me" (1990). 1992-94 saw a new director and a bigger sound, highlighted by 1993's "Broadway Star Medley." Comedy was the focus from 1995-96, drawing standing ovations for "Forgive Me Parody," "How Could You Believe Me When You Know I've Been A Lawyer All My Life" (1995) and "Politicians Medley" (1996). 1997-2001 featured soulful ballads, "There Goes My Heart" (2000), driving uptunes, "Changes Medley" (2000), and swing numbers like "Paper Doll" (1999). Most of these favorite performances resulted in medals for the GNUC. A dynamic, powerful collection from one of America's best male chorus, recorded live in International competition!

Songlist: Pal of My Cradle Days, M-A-Double M-Y, Alabamy Bound, I Was Married Medley, Forgive Me, I'm Sorry I Made You Cry, I'm Looking at the World Through Rose-Colored Glasses, Broadway Star Medley, The Masquerade Is Over, Forgive Me Parody, How Could You Believe Me When You Know I've Been A Lawyer All My Life?, Politicians' Medley, You Keep Coming Back Like A Song, Paper Doll, There Goes My Heart, Changes Medley, My Foolish Heart

5684c | 00 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella Mens Barbershop Choruses CDs

Great Northern Union Chorus : Bound For Glory : 00  1 CD : Pete Bensen : 

Great Northern Union Chorus : Bound For Glory

Review: Twin-Cities-based Great Northern Union, directed since 2002 by Peter Benson, is one of the midwest's most versatile choral groups. Surrounded by musical excellence, the group has a broad repertoire and a beautiful sound, and they add visual presentation to complete the package. "Bound for Glory" is "Gnu's" fourth recording, a special selection of sacred works. 11 songs, "Great Day," Thomas Tallis' "If Ye Love Me," "In This Very Room," "Swing Low/Swing Down Chariot," "God is My Rock," "Nearer My God to Thee/I Need Thee Every Hour," "When I Lift Up My Head," "This Train/When the Saints Go Marching In" and special bonus cut, Franz Biebl's "Ave Maria" are particularly nice. An inspirational, beautifully arranged and sung collection from the talented, dynamic Great Northern Union Chorus

Songlist: Great Day, If Ye Love Me, In This Very Room, Run, Run, Run, Swing Low / Swing Down Chariot, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, God Is My Rock, Nearer My God To Thee / I Need Thee Every Hour, When I Lift Up My Head, This Train / When The Saints Go Marching In, Ave Maria

5683c | 00 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella Mens Barbershop Choruses CDs

Great Northern Union Chorus : It's a Grand Night for Singing : 00  1 CD : 

Listen to
Annie's Song

Great Northern Union Chorus : It's a Grand Night for Singing

Review: Since their forming in 1985, Hilltop, MN's male performing chorus has qualified for the Barbershop Harmony Society Internationals 19 years in a row, earning 7 medals. The 14 cuts on "It's A Grand Night for Singing" show off the rich harmonies, innovative arrangements, and pure entertainment of the GNUC, one of the finest mens' choruses in the Midwest. Hard to pick favorites, but Oscar Hammerstein's title tune, Richard Rodgers' "My Funny Valentine," the upbeat Barbershop chestnut "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo," John Denver's "Annie's Song," James Taylor's "That Lonesome Road," Lennon/McCartney's "Ob La Di," the heart-tugging "Young and Foolish," Irving Berlin's "When the Midnight Choo Choo Leaves for Alabam'," the traditional Scottish "Loch Lomond" and the raucous English sea shanty "What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor" will suffice. A fourth powerful, winning collection from one of SPEBSQSA's best!

Songlist: It's a Grand Night for Singing, Pure Imagination, Happy Together, My Funny Valentine, (I've Got a Gal in) Kalamazoo, Annie's Song, That Lonesome Road, Ob La Di, Beautiful Savior, Goodbye, World, Goodbye, Young and Foolish, When the Midnight Choo Choo Leaves for Alabam', Loch Lomond, What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor

5824c | 00 1 CD | $14.95 | A Cappella Mens Barbershop Choruses CDs

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