An interview with Stephen M. Black, Music Director of Amuse Singers
Amuse Singers of New York City is pleased to announce the appointment of
Stephen M. Black as Music Director for its 2014-2015 season. An
accomplished organist, conductor and singer, Mr. Black is Director of Music at
St. Gregory the Great Church in Harrison, NY, and a candidate for Doctor of
Musical Arts (ABD) in the Department of Choral and Sacred Music at the
University of Southern California. Prior to his studies in Los Angeles,
Mr. Black was Director of Music at St. Joseph's Church Yorkville, New York
City's German national parish on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. In
2008, on the occasion of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the historic parish, Mr.
Black led the St. Joseph's choral ensembles in an internationally-televised
concert of works by Arvo Pärt, Aaron Jay Kernis and J.S. Bach. During his
11 years in New York, he served as Artistic Director of the Central City Chorus
and Music Director of The Brearley Singers in New York City.
Mr. Black is the recipient of several honors and awards in both organ
performance and choral conducting, including the Charles Ives Prize in organ
performance and the Richard French Prize in choral conducting from Yale
Mr. Black recently agreed to talk with Amuse Singers about conducting, music and
Schola Cantorum on Hudson celebrates, identifies bold agenda
Schola Cantorum on Hudson, founded by Dr. Deborah Simpkin King in 1994,
celebrates its 20th anniversary this season (2014-15) with three self-produced
concert sets (each with performances in New York City and New Jersey), including
the east coast premier of John Muehleisen’s oratorio, Pietà, in March
of 2015. The season theme is "We Have Had Singing!" The power of music in
different facets of the human experience is the focus of the December concerts;
and May concerts draw upon favorite repertoire from Schola’s 20 seasons. This
year also happens to be the fifth anniversary of PROJECT : ENCORE™, the widely
acclaimed database of new, post-premiere choral compositions, founded in 2009,
under the SCH organizational umbrella. I had the pleasure just recently of
interviewing Dr. King in the West Village.
Matthew Lewis on St. George's Choral Society's fall concert and auditions
St. George’s Choral Society, founded in 1817, will present Bach’s Cantata
140, Wachet auf, and Magnificat this fall at the
Church of the Incarnation.
Auditions for the group will be held on Wednesday, September 10 at 6 PM at St.
George’s Chapel, 5 Rutherford Place (on Stuyvesant Park).
Matthew Lewis, The group’s Artistic Director, shares his insights on Bach, the
concert and what it is like to sing in the group.
Laura Daly: SGCS will prepare an all-Bach program for their fall concert, including
Cantata 140. Can you tell us what inspired this choice?
Matthew Lewis: For me, everything starts with Bach. Robert Schumann said that every pianist
should make Bach their daily bread, and I have always believed that applies to
all musicians. For a choir like SGCS, an all-Bach program is a wonderful way to
sharpen technical and musical skills. In addition, the rich payoff of learning
and internalizing this music is truly amazing.
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- Ryan Brandau is the new artistic director of Amor Artis. (2014-7-3)
- Jolle Greenleaf and Donald Meineke direct the Early Music Festival NYC, running June 13-19, 2014. For details, visit www.emfnyc.org. (2014-5-7)
- C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective has received the 2014 Chorus America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. This is the first time they have received this honor. The Adventurous Programming awards recognize choruses that demonstrate a sustained commitment to adventurous programming through performances of choral music written in the last 25 years.Read more about the award at www.chorusamerica.org/news/2014-chorus-america-award-recipients-announced. (2014-5-7)
- The New York Virtuoso Singers and Harold Rosenbaum have received the 2014 Chorus America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. This is the fourth time NYVS and Rosenbaum have received this honor. Read more about the awards at www.chorusamerica.org/news/2014-chorus-america-award-recipients-announced. (2014-4-30)
- Cantabile Chamber Chorale artistic director Rebecca Scott and others were interviewed by correspondent Bill Nutt for an article in the New Jersey Courier News and Home News Tribune. Read about Cantabile's April 26 concert celebrating New Jersey's 350th anniversary. (2014-4-10)
Archive of old
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The latest additions to the site's
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- September 8, 2014: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for The Village Chorus for Children and Youth, based in the East Village.
- September 3, 2014: New Choir Directory listing for Hudson Opera Theatre, based in Sugar Loaf, NY.
- August 31, 2014: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for Young Voyces, a treble youth choir in Staten Island.
- August 26, 2014: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for NJWOMENSONG, a women's choir based in Hunterdon County, NJ.
- August 25, 2014: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for The College of Saint Rose Women's Chorale, based in Albany, NY.
- August 19, 2014: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for the Glen Ridge Congregational Church Chancel Choir in Glen Ridge, NJ.
- August 15, 2014: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for Melodia Singers, a newly-formed women's ensemble in Basking Ridge, NJ.
- August 14, 2014: Design updates for the Advertise and About VAN pages to bring them in line with the rest of the site.
- August 12, 2014: We've made some changes to the VAN home page. Navigation is now across the top and upcoming concerts have been moved to the left column. This change allows greater visibility for the latest audition listings and most recent postings in the Info Exchange in the right column. Behind the scenes, we've brought the code more in line with current standards for HTML and CSS. We've tested this on IE 8 and 11 along with current versions of Firefox, Chrome and Safari. If you run into anything anomalous with the layout, please let us know. Enjoy!
- August 7, 2014: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for VOCTET, a new chamber choir on the Upper West Side specializing in early music.
old "New on VAN" items
See also the Info
- Need some exquisite beaded jewelry to complement your concert
attire? Or perhaps a distinctive gift for that special singer in your
life? Or maybe you'd like to host a jewelry show to benefit your
favorite non-profit organization? Try Carnelian
Knoll, where you'll find necklaces, bracelets and earrings of
vintage beads and silver handcrafted by Julie Siegmund.
- Looking for rehearsal space or performance venues? Try NYC
Music Spaces, New York City's free database of available rehearsal
and performance spaces for instrumental and vocal musicians. You'll find
places to rent, from studios to large venues, for classical, jazz,
rock--whatever you need to rehearse or perform in NYC.
- Looking for an outstanding vocal ensemble coach? Mark
Johnson, possessor of an amazing ear and terrific
interpretive insights in a variety of styles, is available to coach
your group. To arrange for Mark's services, e-mail Colette
- Liz Fleischer's Sight-Singing Program is offered each season
at the Kaufman Center (129
West 67th Street). Classes include ear-training, rhythm and pitch
reading, music theory, basic notation and terminology, with emphasis
on learning to hold a part with confidence. For more info, visit www.kaufman-center.org/lucyadults_mus_sight.htm,
or call (212) 501-3362. The sight-singing program is just one of the
classes offered by the Kaufman Center's Lucy
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the following Sustaining Member ensembles:
The Dessoff Choirs, Grace Church Choral
Society, The West Village
Big Apple Chorus, The Brooklyn Community Chorus,
The Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus,
The Canby Singers, The Cecilia Chorus of New York, Dalton Chorale,
Florilegium Chamber Choir,
Greenwich Village Chamber Singers,
Riverside Choral Society,
St. George's Choral Society,
Schola Cantorum on Hudson,
The Stonewall Chorale
The Babylon Chorale,
C4: The World's First Choral Composer/Conductor Collective,
Cantabile Chamber Chorale,
Christ Church Choir,
Douglas Frank Chorale,
Down Town Glee Club, Greater Nassau Chorus,
Lehman College and Community Chorus,
New Amsterdam Singers,
The New Choral Society,
New York Choral Society, The Peace of Heart Choir, Renaissance Street Singers,
Renaissance Vocal Ensemble,
Riverdale Choral Society,
Russian Chamber Chorus of New York,
St. James' Compostela Choir, St. Paul's Englewood,
Sing We Enchanted, Uncommon Chord,
Voices of New York, Women Singing
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Sustaining Membership page.