New York Choral Consortium launches city-wide Sing New York! choral festival
by Lee Ryder for Vocal Area Network
Posted April 10, 2011

Sing New York! logoOnce a mecca for many choral festivals from 1881 through the 1920s, New York will once again host a major choral festival this spring. To celebrate the abundance and variety of choral music in New York and to bring a greater awareness and appreciation of this music to New York audiences, the New York Choral Consortium -- Kent Tritle and John D. Goodwin, co-chairs -- are inaugurating an annual choral festival in New York City. Aptly named Sing New York!, the Festival will run from April 15 through June 15, 2011, encompassing the performances of more than 50 New York City choral groups.

The Festival is open to any choral ensemble giving a public performance in any of the five boroughs between April 15 and June 15, 2011. Some 30 NYCC member choruses will also be participating, including:

  • Voices of Ascension
  •  Melodia Women's Choir
  • Musica Sacra
  • The New York Choral Society
  • Sacred Music in a Sacred Space
  • The Oratorio Society of New York
  • Cantori New York
  • New Amsterdam Singers
  • Amor Artis
  • Canticum Novum
  • The Choir of Men and Boys of St. Thomas
  • Riverside Choral Society
  • The New York Virtuoso Singers
  • The Dessoff Choirs

The Festival's official website -- www.SingNewYork.org -- provides a complete listing of all events, with links to the individual chorus website for ticketing and program details. Groups interested in participating can sign up and add their events to the calendar on the site. New Yorkers interested in attending this Festival will find information on dates, locations,
repertory and ticketing on the website. Additionally, attendees can sign up for weekly e-mail alerts of upcoming events and can purchase an Experiment! pass that will allow them to attend an event for 50% off the full ticket price.

The Festival will close with a gala Choral Finale dedicated to the memory of Johannes Somary, who worked on much of the initial planning for the Festival. This concert will take place on Wednesday June 15, 2011, 7:30 PM, at the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle, Columbus Avenue at West 59th Street, with hundreds of singers drawn from all choruses participating in the Festival. Conducted by some of New York City's best-known choral conductors, including Kent Tritle, John D. Goodwin, Mark Shapiro, Patrick Gardner and Harold Rosenbaum, the performance will feature favorite choruses drawn from the compilation edited by Robert Shaw for the 1991 Carnegie Hall Centennial Choralfest. Free tickets for this event will be available to the public at a later date on a first-come basis.

The number of events under this Festival's umbrella provides a thrilling cross-section of New York City choruses -- amateur, semi-professional and professional, some with just a few singers, some numbering almost 200. The music they perform is equally varied, from Gregorian chant and classical masterpieces to world premieres of newly-commissioned works. For the most up-to-date listing of Festival events, visit www.SingNewYork.org. Calendar listings will be updated daily as more groups join in the Festival.

No other city in the U.S. can boast such a wealth of choral music or such an astounding number of choruses as New York City. Over the course of any typical season, a New York concert-goer can choose from among more than 450 choral concerts, presented by any of the more than 150 choral groups that perform here.

Prior Festivals
Large-scale choral festivals consistently took place for close to 40 years beginning in 1881 at the Seventh Regiment Armory, the Seventy-First Regiment Armory, Steinway Hall and Trinity Church Wall Street. A photograph of the Armory event, conducted by Leopold Damrosch with augmented symphonic and choral forces, can be downloaded from www.SingNewYork.org. Festivals continued to be mounted through the early 1920s.

"Charles M. Schwab, for one, believes that we should continue to sing, and to sing loud and often. To Mr. Schwab much credit is due in bringing into existence the great music Festival to be held April 6 to 11 at the 71st Regiment Armory under the auspices of the Oratorio Society of New York."
-- from The New York Times, March 28, 1920.

The full article and other background material from the archives of The New York Times are available for download at www.SingNewYork.org/press.html.

About the Consortium
The New York Choral Consortium is a not-for-profit group whose mission is to promote the diversity, quality and quantity of great choral music in New York City. Established in 2005 by Kent Tritle, John D. Goodwin, Johannes Somary and other leading New York City conductors, NYCC now has some 30 member choruses represented by music directors, board presidents, and executive directors who meet bi-monthly from September to May to discuss common issues related to marketing, programming, logistics and fundraising in a spirit of mutual respect and support. This is the first public initiative undertaken by NYCC. For more information on the Consortium, please visit its website, www.NewYorkChoralConsortium.org.

Lee Ryder is the press contact for Sing New York!
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