“The fine Providence Singers dispatched [the Esperanto text] on lovely rivers of pentatonic melody”
The Boston Globe
15 November 2009
(Harrison La Koro Sutro)

From the archives



The 35th Concert Season of the Providence Singers

This season, marking Julian Wachner’s 10th and final year as artistic director, highlighted some of The Singers’ favorite music and traditions. There was a third collaboration with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, a world premiére of a work commissioned for the Singers, a reprise of music by Dave Brubeck, and second performances of some of The Singers great favorites: Chichester Psalms, Charles Ives’ Psalm 90, and the glorious All-Night Vigil (Vespers) of Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Brubeck: The Commandments and Gates of Justice

The Singers’ performance of Gates of Justice at the 2004 Newport Jazz Festival was such a high point that we jumped at the chance to perform it again at Lincoln Center – and to give the world premiére of Brubeck’s The Commandments. We performed with Brubeck and his quartet (Bobby Militello, alto sax, flute; Michael Moore, bass; Randy Jones, drums), tenor Alberto Mizrahi, and baritone Kevin Deas – all conducted, as in Newport, by Russell Gloyd.

8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005, Jazz at Lincoln Center / Rose Theater / New York City
Read more  About the concert  |  About the Newport concert

Verdi: Messa da Requiem

The November 2005 performances of the Verdi Requiem marked the third year of reciprocal concerts with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. We traveled to New Haven to perform as part of their season subscription series, and they traveled to Providence to perform in ours. Artistic Director Julian Wachner, who conducted both concerts, considered them – particularly the second performance, in Providence – to be among the Singers best performances of the decade.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005, at Woolsey Hall, New Haven
8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, 2005, at VMA Arts and Cultural Center, Providence
More about the concert

The Annual Holiday Concert

Andrew Clark led The Singers in his year’s holiday concert, which featured a string quartet, harp, guitar and organ. In addition to settings of traditional carols, The Singers offered some new holiday sounds, including Alf Houkum’s “Rune of Hospitality,” and Steve Heitzeg’s setting of the e.e. cummings poem, “Little Tree.” The Singers also performed two movements from the Rachmaninoff Vespers, which the group would perform in its entirety as the season’s last concert.

Saturday, Dec. 17, in Providence; Sunday, Dec. 18, 2005, in Bristol

Glory! American Psalms

American choral music has many roots, but the touchstone of American inventiveness may well be Charles Ives’ setting of Psalm 90. This would be the second time the Singers performed the piece under Julian, paired now with Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Lukas Foss’s Psalms.

Two compositions by Julian Wachner, a student of Foss, completed the program: Psalm Cycle III and Jubilate Deo. The latter, commissioned for the Singers by Board chair Patricia Fuller, received its world premiére.

8 p.m. Saturday, March 4, 2006, at VMA Arts and Cultural Center, Providence
More about the concert

Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil (“The Vespers”)

For the Singers and Julian Wachner, Rachmaninoff’s exquisite Vespers became a measure of growth and change. Since our previous performances in the spring of 2001, Julian had traveled in Ukraine, heard The Vespers in St. Petersburg, and developed new perspectives on the piece. The Singers had grown artistically and as an organization. The Vespers would be the perfect end to Julian’s decade as artistic director.

And so it was. At the end of a very satisfying performance at St. Michael’s in Bristol, Julian chose to perform the “Bogoroditse Devo” as an encore, as the final piece we would sing together. With many of the chorus members emotionally overextended and unable to utter a sound, the Maestro finally achieved the true pianissimo he had been seeking so long ...

4 p.m. Sunday, May 7, 2006, at Immaculate Conception Church, Cranston
8 p.m. Friday, June 9, 2006, at St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center, Woonsocket
8 p.m. Saturday, June 10, 2006, at St. Joseph’s Church, Providence
4 p.m. Sunday, June 11, 2006, at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Bristol
More about the concert