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VAN FEATURES
By women, for women: Melodia Women's Choir competition targets women composers
Posted 4/7/2015

Melodia Women's ChoirWomen in classical music have made enormous strides since 1839, when a disenchanted Clara Schumann confided in her diary that “I once thought that I possessed creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not desire to compose.”

While it is no longer shocking to see women in the role of commanding soloist or orchestral musician, they are still woefully underrepresented as composers. A recent study from King’s College London reported that while 71% of music teachers are women, the number drops to 8% when the subject is composition. In the US, the situation is slightly better, with WQXR’s Q2 Radio estimating the number of women composition teachers at 15%.

For the Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC, a 28-voice ensemble that works exclusively with women musicians, the historic gender segregation of classical music has had a compound limiting effect on the repertoire available for performance. More...


Judith Clurman on "Beyond Broadway: Composers Go Choral"
Posted 4/3/2015

Beyond Broadway: Composers Go ChoralOn April 8, 2015 at 7:30 PM, Essential Voices USA (EVUSA) will present "Beyond Broadway: Composers Go Choral" at the DiMenna Space for Classical Music, 450 West 37th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues), New York City. The evening will feature ensemble music and conversation with composer/lyricists who have worked closely with conductor and music director Judith Clurman and her Essential Voices USA. Guests attending include Sheldon Harnick, Larry Hochman, Andrew Lippa, Richard Maltby, Joshua Schmidt, Stephen Schwartz, Lynne Shankel, David Shire, Georgia Stitt, Jonathan Tunick, and Maury Yeston. Midge Woolsey will host the evening. Tedd Firth will be at the piano. For tickets please visit www.essentialvoicesusa.com, or purchase them at the door (cash only). Dan Dutcher and Nicole Guberman spoke with Judith Clurman about the event. More...


Harold Rosenbaum's latest projects and initiatives
Posted 3/24/2015

Harold RosenbaumConductor Harold Rosenbaum is always on the move. In addition to concerts, tours, residencies, collaborations and recordings with his choirs, he has launched several new projects and programs, and is planning others. In 2014 he founded The Harold Rosenbaum Choral Conducting Institute at the University at Buffalo, where he directs the choirs and runs the graduate program in choral conducting. The institute sponsors 1-, 3-, and 5-day workshops and has expanded to Columbia University and Adelphi University, with others coming soon. I recently asked him about his latest projects and initiatives.

Jeffrey James: Tell me about your ChoralFest USA project.

Harold Rosenbaum: I recently created ChoralFest USA – A Celebration of American Choral Music. This event, which we plan to make an annual event, will be held at Symphony Space on Broadway and 95th Street in Manhattan, and will feature a dozen or more choirs from the New York region and beyond, singing in a free marathon concert. We’ve selected the choirs by either application or invitation. Audience members may come and go, or remain the entire time. More...


Matthew Lewis talks about Honegger's King David
Posted 3/16/2015

Matthew LewisSt. George’s Choral Society (SGCS), founded in 1817, will present Arthur Honegger’s King David on Sunday, April 26 at 3 PM at the Church of the Incarnation, 209 Madison Avenue at 35th Street. Matthew Lewis, the group’s Artistic Director, shares his insights on this piece.

Laura Daly: What was behind your selecting King David for SGCS’s Spring Concert?

Matthew Lewis: This is a piece I have wanted to do for some time now! It is really an ideal fit for our choir. I first heard it many years ago and have loved it ever since. It has it all: great choral writing, beautiful solos, colorful orchestration and...drama.

LD: Honegger was an interesting person and seemed very much a part of his age, Paris in the twenties. What about him as a person interests you?

ML: Honegger was one of Les Six, a group of six composers in Paris who were followers of Jean Cocteau. More...


Archive of old VAN Features

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NEWS
VAN welcomes news of interest to the vocal ensemble community. Send stories to the editor.
  • Choral Chameleon has won a 2015 Chorus America / ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award. (2015-4-15)
  • The Empire City Men's Chorus promoted Vince Peterson this month from Interim Artistic Director to Artistic Director. (2015-4-10)
  • Vocal Area Network host Steve Friedman is looking for a new day job after the telecommunications company for whom he's worked for 27 out of the last 31 years eliminated his sales engineering position. Career suggestions welcomed. See his profile on LinkedIn for details. (2015-3-31)
  • CONCORA has announced the appointment of Christopher Shepard as its second Artistic Director, succeeding Artistic Director Emeritus Richard Coffey, who founded the ensemble as Connecticut's first all-professional choir in 1974. For more details, visit concora.org/. (2015-2-9)
  • Ward Swingle, founder of the Swingle Singers, famed for their scat renditions of Bach, Mozart and other classical composers, has died at age 87. Read his obituary in The New York Times. (2015-1-25)

Archive of old "News" items


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SERVICES
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  • 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.
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  • 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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