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Concert threads | December 10, 2016

Messiah: A work of transcendental power
World-renowned contralto Susannah Cibber, enmeshed in a highly public and scandalous divorce, sang the 1743 première. Her rendition of “He was despised” was so utterly transporting that the Rev. Patrick Delany jumped to his feet halfway through and shouted, “Woman, for this be all thy sins forgiven thee!”
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Coming in January:
Rollo Dilworth to lead 2017 Young Men’s Choral Festival

Yes, Real Men Sing!® — and they get better at it every year. Rollo Dilworth, an internationally respected choral educator, composer, arranger and conductor, joins us as choral clinician.

The YMCF is a single, jam-packed day of music, camaraderie, pizza, and performance for choral young men in grades eight through twelve — with continuing education opportunities for choral educators and conductors. Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, from 1 to 8 p.m. on the campus of Rhode Island College.   More about YMCF


Our next concert
Georg Frederick Handel: Messiah  |  December 10, 2016

Christine Noel conducts the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Providence Singers, and soloists in the tenth annual December performance of Handel’s masterwork.
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Still to come: Two choral concerts

Music for Chorus and Percussion  |  March 11-12, 2017
It’s not a combination that’s heard often: chorus with marimba, celesta, harp, fingersnaps, handclaps, bells, gong, and other percussion. The Singers will perform works by contemporary American composers Eric William Barnum, Dominick DiOrio, Dan Forrest, Eric Whitacre, and a new work by Michael Galib, the Singers assistant conductor. Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Charles Ives’ Psalm 90 complete the program.
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Music of Scandinavia and the Baltics  |  May 13-14, 2017
The Aurea Ensemble joins the Providence Singers to perform music of Ēriks Ešenvalds, Ola Gjeilo, Edvard Grieg, Leevi Madetoja, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, and Jean Sibelius. The concert features six works by Gjeilo, including the world premiere of a work for chorus, piano and string quartet, commissioned by the Providence Singers through its Wachner Fund for New Music.
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Recordings of the Providence Singers

Lou Harrison: La Koro Sutro
Our friends at the Boston Modern Orchestra Project completed a successful Kickstarter campaign and brought Lou Harrison’s music to market. BMOP paired the Singers’ recording of La Koro Sutro with Harrison’s Suite for Violin and American Gamelan to make an extraordinary CD, released in July 2014. Program Notes  |  Read the Globe’s review

Dominick Argento: Jonah and the Whale
Jonah was a difficult prophet. He tried to wriggle out of divine assignments and whined loudly enough to annoy even God. Dominick Argento used medieval poetry, the Book of Jonah and other sources to prepare the libretto for this composition. More ...

Lukas Foss: The Prairie
Lukas Foss fled Nazi Germany with his family – first to Paris in 1933 and then to the United States in 1937. He was 15 when he arrived in Philadelphia to begin his studies at the Curtis Institute. Foss embraced his new homeland – “... as a boy of 15, I fell in love with America,” he said – becoming a U.S. citizen in 1942. He found Carl Sandburg’s poem when he was 19 and began almost immediately to set it to music, adapting it himself without a librettist. The Singers loved it as well. More ...