The Singers and I are remembering the impact that Leonard Bernstein had on the American musical landscape by presenting “MAKE OUR GARDEN GROW” on October 24 and 25. Bernstein died 25 years ago this month, and I wanted to start The Singers’ 12th Season with a concert that showcases an eclectic mix of the Maestro’s music. We can barely scratch the surface in just one concert – but the program has nonetheless proven to be a wide-ranging exploration of compositional styles that spanned Bernstein’s life and career. (Special thanks to Don Hunstein for gracious permission to use his iconic photo.)
“Few composers capture their time and become the iconic voice of their age. He has left us an aural image of his time and place and, at the same time, an eternal voice of humanity.” – John Mauceri
LEONARD BERNSTEIN: MAKE OUR GARDEN GROW (October 24 & 25, 2015)
The Singers – Ruth Palmer, piano – Matthew Culloton, conductor
I am very excited to share news about The Singers’ new CD, released in April 2015. “Rene Clausen: Tonight Eternity Alone” was recorded live in concert during our 3-day festival honoring my teacher in February 2015. The concert night (though especially chilly outside) was one of those nights when you feel all of the cylinders are moving exactly as they should, so we decided it was very worthy of sharing with a wider audience. I hope you enjoy this meaningful recording of works by one of America’s most beloved composers!
We are one week away from The Singers’ first rehearsal of Season 11! I am very excited to welcome a large “rookie class” to the organization – 11 new Singers and some re-shifting of sections has helped reshape the choir for a new season.
Highlights of The Singers’ upcoming season include 5 exciting concerts on the Subscription Series, a performance for the MN ACDA Fall Conference, educational collaborations, the René Clausen Festival (honoring one of my pivotal mentors!), and the world premiere of Craig Carnahan’s Ghost Camp in May 2015.
I hope that you will consider making The Singers a part of your musical life, whether it be through our recordings, videos, or best of all – live concerts!
In the meantime, enjoy a most fitting video: Dominck Argento’s So I’ll Sing with My Voice!
The Singers and I have been very busy since I last posted (way too long ago)! Thanks to Ken Fitzer (video) and Mike Wolsted (audio), the following YouTube clips show some meaningful performances from Season 10.
MY SOUL’S REPOSE: APRIL 13, 2014, Nativity of Our Lord, St. Paul, MN
Today I begin a most exciting project with The Singers that focuses on newer works by David Lang (of “Bang on a Can” fame), Tarik O’ Regan, Nico Muhly, Abbie Betinis, and Jocelyn Hagen. The concert is April 21-22, 2012 in St. Paul and Wayzata, and it promises to be an intriguing concert for singers and audience members alike.
David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion was the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner in music, and it combines the well-known story by Hans Christian Andersen with texts from J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, showing a parallel between the lives of the young girl and Jesus Christ. This work utilizes elements of minimalism and stark use of percussion instruments as the two narratives weave together.
The Artaria String Quartet, now celebrating their 25th Season, joins the choir for O’Regan’s exhilarating setting of Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry in The Ecstasies Above. O’Regan’s score calls for eight vocal soloists, chorus, and string quartet, creating an irresistible palette of tonal colors befitting the wild imagination of Poe.
Nico Muhly is a rising star in the composition world, with new works in many genres premiering frequently. His 2005 work, I Cannot Attain Unto It, is a modern psalm setting that uses choral textures in a fresh, unique way.
Those who are familiar with The Singers know the names Abbie Betinis and Jocelyn Hagen for their innovative work as two of three composers-in-residence (along with Joshua Shank). The Singers will also be performing Abbie’s Carmina men cordis (“Songs of my heart”) and Jocelyn’s Laus Trinitati (“Praise the Trinity”) during their two performances at the Chorus America National Conference being held in Minneapolis in June of this year.
I hope that you are able to see The Singers perform these modern masterpieces as part of “New Landscapes” in April, 2012!