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Chorus America's national
study, released February 2003, finds 28.5 million Americans singing in
choruses and estimates the number of choruses in the US to be 250,000.
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|Singers from the Dessoff Choirs hop the pond
What do you say when you're invited to London to sing music performed at the
1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in this, her Diamond Jubilee year?
With great enthusiasm, you say, "Righto!"
On June 4, 38 members of The Dessoff Choirs will join singers from the Crouch
End Festival Chorus and the Hertfordshire Chorus on the stage of London's Royal
Festival Hall. Leading the resulting powerhouse of 291 singers will be
conductor David Temple, musical director of both London-based groups.
The first half of the program features music from the coronation—almost 60 years
ago to the day—including Handel's thrilling Zadok the Priest, Hubert
Parry's majestic I Was Glad and William Walton's meditative Coronation Te
Deum. The second half of the program is given over to Walton's searing
Biblical oratorio Belshazzar's Feast. The musical forces also include
baritone soloist Ashley Riches and a full orchestra.
Harold Rosenbaum on the choral music of John Harbison
A while ago I had the distinct pleasure of conducting my 16-voice
all-professional choir, The New York Virtuoso Singers, in a 70th birthday tribute
concert to John Harbison, with the composer present. All 17 of his a
cappella works, including a world premiere written for the occasion, were
performed. It is not often that each member of my choir loves every piece
it performs on our programs of mostly contemporary music. This time we all
John's a cappella choral music is lyrical but challenging to sing, deeply
expressive, and tonal, if barely so. This can also be said of his choral
works with orchestra, e.g., Requiem, Flight Into Egypt and Four Psalms. Both I
and the singers in my choir feel his compassion and sensitivity coming through
his contrapuntal as well as his homophonic (chordal) writing, and we find his
attention to detail refreshing, helpful and pertinent. John puts more
markings (accents, tenutos, staccatos, accented staccatos, etc.) into his music
than do most other composers, which is perhaps a reflection of the conductor in
him. (This careful attention to detail can be seen in a few other great
composer/conductors' music as well, including Igor Stravinsky, Benjamin Britten
and Jonathan Harvey.) Yet he still leaves plenty of room for personal
interpretive concepts to enter into the fray. And he knows how to write
extremely well for the voice. At the end of our concert of his a cappella
music, the singers' voices were not anywhere near as tired as when we performed
all six Bach motets on the same program, one of similar length.
The Philippine Madrigal Singers return to New York City
The Philippine Madrigal Singers (www.philippinemadrigalsingers.com)
celebrate their 50th anniversary with a three-month Goodwill Concert Tour that
started in March with visits to cities in the United States and South America.
New York City will be their last stop before they go back home to the
Philippines. Most recently they were invited to perform at the 2013 American
Choral Directors Association National Conference in Dallas, TX and at the VII
America Cantat International Choral Festival in Bogotá, Colombia. The group
returns to The Church of St. Ignatius on Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 7:30 PM with
a concert featuring works by Janequin, Elberdin, Malachevsky, Lennon, Warren and
Filipino composers such as Alcala, Maniano and Pamintuan.
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- Results are in from the New York regional of the 2013 Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, held March 30 at the Miller Theatre. First place: The Rainbows. Second place: Six13. Third place: Low Key. Honorable Mention: Satellite Lane. See www.harmony-sweepstakes.com/newyork.html for more information. (2013-3-31)
- Uncommon Chord, a 10-voice, co-ed pop/jazz vocal ensemble located on Manhattan's Upper West Side, is seeking a new music director. For more information about the position and the group, see the Info Exchange or visit www.uncommonchord.org. (2013-2-26)
- The Cecilia Chorus of New York is the new name for the group established in 1906 as the St. Cecilia Chorus. (2012-11-18)
- David Hayes has been appointed to serve as Music Director of the New York Choral Society beginning with the 2012-13 concert season. Mr. Hayes is currently the Music Director of The Philadelphia Singers, a professional vocal ensemble, and the related Philadelphia Singers Chorale, a chorus of professionals and volunteers that serves as the
resident chorus of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He also serves as the Music Director of the Mannes Orchestra and the Director of Orchestral and Conducting Studies at Mannes College and The New
School for Music in New York City. For more information, visit www.nychoral.org. (2012-8-23)
- Ryan Brandau is the new director of two ensembles: the Monmouth Civic Chorus and Princeton Pro Musica. (2012-7-28)
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The latest additions to the site's
content and features.
- April 30, 2013: We've pared the Choir Directory and Choir Auditions page of groups that seem no longer to be extant, based primarily on web links that are no longer active. If you find that your group has been erroneously deleted, please let us know and we'll be happy to restore the listings with updated information.
- March 1, 2013: Couple of tweaks to the VAN Concert Calendar. The Calendar now sports a new, compact menu that stays on the screen as you scroll the page. And we're trying out some sharing tools to allow you to easily send a listing to Twitter, e-mail or social media services. Hope these changes are helpful.
- February 25, 2013: New Choir Directory listing for the St. Paul's Choir School Children's Choir in Englewood, NJ.
- February 7, 2013: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for The Current, a semi-professional mixed a cappella group based in midtown Manhattan.
- February 5, 2013: New links for the Jewish A Cappella Festival, coming up February 15-17 in New York; Six13, male Jewish a cappella ensemble; and two sites under the new subcategory "Booking services," GigMasters and Gig Salad.
- February 1, 2013: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for the Sing for Hope Youth Chorus, a new youth choir for New York City high school students.
- December 29, 2012: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for the Twin County Chorus, a Long Island-based chapter of Sweet Adelines International.
- December 18, 2012: New link for MusikReisenFaszination, offering choir and orchestra tours.
- December 3, 2012: New links for New York Singing Teachers' Association and Everybody Can Sing, offering individual and group lessons with Elissa Weiss.
- November 23, 2012: The Drew University Community Chorus is now known as the Drew University Choral Union.
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 Places, 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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VAN gratefully acknowledges the support of
the following Sustaining Member ensembles:
The Dessoff Choirs, Grace Church Choral
Society, The West Village
SILVER: Big Apple Chorus, The Brooklyn Community Chorus,
The Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus,
The Canby Singers, Dalton Chorale,
Florilegium Chamber Choir,
Greenwich Village Singers,
Riverside Choral Society,
The St. Cecilia Chorus,
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,
Lehman College and Community Chorus,
New Amsterdam Singers,
The New Choral Society,
New York Choral Society, 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
For more about how you or your ensemble can help defray the costs of providing VAN's services,
Sustaining Membership page.