Choral-Orchestral

SPONSORED CONTENT FROM A CHORUS AMERICA PARTNER

In the upcoming season, The Washington Chorus (TWC) looks not only to meet the challenge of planning in a world dealing with COVID-19, but to do so while welcoming a new incoming artistic director. Eugene Rogers, who takes the artistic helm of TWC while continuing in his role as director of choral activities at the University of Michigan, shared his thoughts with Chorus America on the unique challenges and opportunities ahead for him, his new ensemble, and the choral community.

Music’s prominence in the sacred sphere has shaped some of the most enduring genres of choral music in Western culture, such as the requiem mass. For more than a century, composers have found resonance in the requiem outside its traditional religious framework — a resonance that has acquired new intensity in recent years. Here is a look at four American composers of today who have adapted the idea of the sacred requiem to secular expressions that commemorate loss and encourage healing. Their music responds to a wide spectrum of inspirations—and perhaps has even more relevance in a world coping with suffering and loss in a new way.

Asking your chorus members to re-audition may be the single greatest test of the notion that choruses can create outstanding art and at the same time create meaningful community. Artistic leaders, managers, and singers who have experienced re-auditioning in volunteer choruses large and small talk about its benefits and pitfalls, and explain how they have managed this delicate process.

After performing the Brahms Requiem as the centerpiece of Chorus America’s Robert Shaw Centenary Symposium in mid-April, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus brought the work to New York for a special performance at Carnegie Hall. Music journalist Matthew Sigman attended the New York performance—which also included Jonathan Leshnoff’s newly-commissioned work Zohar—and reflects on his experience hearing the masterpiece for the first time.

The Brahms Requiem served as the artistic focal point of Chorus America’s Robert Shaw Centenary Symposium, which centered around the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus’s April 2016 performance of this masterwork. Symposium faculty shared their thoughts on issues conductors ought to address as they prepare the piece.

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L. Brett Scott has touched many sides of the choral world in his career so far, and it figures that plenty more is in store. “My association has gone from a symphonic chorus, to research, to a community choir, and now includes a larger choral-orchestral ensemble again,” he says.

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