St. George’s Choral Society hosts annual Summer Choral Festival
With many choirs on hiatus during the summer months, some singers are left
searching for opportunities to flex their vocal cords until their regular
rehearsal schedules resume in the fall. St. George’s Choral Society, a stalwart
of the New York City choral community, offers a solution. Beginning Tuesday,
June 4, the group will host its annual Summer Choral Festival, a two-week
choral intensive that culminates in a performance of Durante’s Magnificat
and Handel’s Laudate pueri, HWV 237 on Saturday, June 15. St. George’s
Choral Society president and soprano Rachel Ruoff sat down with the choir's
artistic director, Matthew Lewis, to discuss this exciting opportunity that’s
open to all singers looking for a creative way to spend their summer evenings.
Rachel Ruoff: What influenced your decision to perform
Handel's Laudate pueri and Durante's Magnificat for the Summer
Matthew Lewis: I try to find pieces that are fun to sing,
challenging and yet manageable for the rehearsal parameters we have. Some of the
big choral pieces would be fun, but we would have trouble learning them in four
rehearsals. Having said that, we've definitely done some difficult works in past
festivals! Like the year we did the Poulenc Gloria along with the
Bernstein Chichester Psalms. These pieces are, to some degree, standard
choral repertoire, but it was tough getting them learned and finessed in four
rehearsals. The Durante and Handel we are doing this year are delightful and fun
pieces, both in a similar style. The orchestration is strings only for the
Durante, and strings plus oboes for the Handel.
Anderson to lead chant and polyphony workshop in June
June, early music guru Michael Alan Anderson convenes his fourth annual
institute “Singing Gregorian Chant and Renaissance Polyphony” through the
Eastman School of Music. This is the first year the workshop will take place in
New York City. Michael spoke with Andrea Schuler, Summer@Eastman Program
Andrea Schuler: How did you come to early music,
specifically Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony?
Michael Alan Anderson: As an undergraduate at Notre Dame, I
was exposed to some Renaissance polyphony in men’s glee club. And, as a music
student, I was—like many—transported by the sound when I first heard the
Hilliard Ensemble’s iconic Perotin recording. I had to have more! After
graduating, I reconnected with a teacher of mine from Notre Dame, Calvin Bower,
who lived in Chicago. He proposed starting an ensemble as a kind of laboratory
for his work on liturgical sequences. We founded Schola Antiqua of Chicago in
2000. The experience of singing for Calvin was one of discovery and inquiry.
Soon I was in graduate school studying this stuff, and I haven’t looked back or
been lured to other periods of music history. There is too much richness sitting
in medieval and Renaissance sources!
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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.
- Looking for rehearsal space or performance venues? Try NYC
Music Spaces, part of Fractured Atlas's SpaceFinder NYC 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.
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Johnson, possessor of an amazing ear and terrific
interpretive insights in a variety of styles, is available to coach your
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- 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
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