An interview with Stephen M. Black, Music Director of Amuse Singers
Posted 9/11/2014

Stephen BlackAmuse 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 University.

Mr. Black recently agreed to talk with Amuse Singers about conducting, music and more. More...

Schola Cantorum on Hudson celebrates, identifies bold agenda
Posted 8/27/2014

Deborah Simpkin KingSchola 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. More...

Matthew Lewis on St. George's Choral Society's fall concert and auditions
Posted 8/15/2014

Matthew LewisSt. 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. More...

Archive of old VAN Features

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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 "News" items

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The latest additions to the site's content and features.
  • 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.

Archive of old "New on VAN" items

See also the Info Exchange.
  • 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 Thompson.
  • 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, e-mail fleischerliz@aol.com or adultdivision@kaufman-center.org or call (212) 501-3362. The sight-singing program is just one of the classes offered by the Kaufman Center's Lucy Moses School.

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Vocal Area Network gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Sustaining Member ensembles:

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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

Americas Vocal Ensemble, AmorArtis, The Babylon Chorale, C4: The World's First Choral Composer/Conductor Collective, Cantabile Chamber Chorale, Cerddorion, Chorus 802, 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, Sacrum Convivium, St. James' Compostela Choir, St. Paul's Englewood, Sing We Enchanted, Uncommon Chord, Voices of New York, Women Singing

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