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NEA American Masterpieces Choral Festival

A Regional Celebration of the American Choral Experience

On the first weekend in March, The Providence Singers will bring choruses, composers, conductors and communities together to celebrate America’s long and excellent tradition of choral singing. Join us for discussions, concerts, even a chance to do a little singing.

All of it is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, as part of the “American Masterpieces” program.


Sunday, February 4, 2007

Pre-Festival Event: Alice Parker leads a community sing
3 p.m. at the Columbus Theatre, 270 Broadway, Providence

Yes, we can hear America singing!

Alice Parker’s career as composer, conductor and teacher has spanned nearly six decades. She travels in the United States and abroad, conducting workshops, concerts and community sings, in which all participants – children or adults, professionals or amateurs – learn to make music with joy and clarity. Her techniques as a leader of singing have encouraged a generation of music teachers and choral conductors to think about the music and the act of conducting in new ways. The grand American choral maestro Robert Shaw once said of her that “she possesses a rare and creative musical intelligence.”

The community sing is open to the public without charge.


Saturday, March 3, 2007

Discussion: American Vision – Meet the composers
10 a.m. Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

Why new music?

Julian Wachner, composer and former artistic director of the Providence Singers, moderates a discussion about contemporary audiences, contemporary musical tastes, contemporary choral music and the composers who write it. Special guests of the festival participating in the discussion include composers Nancy Galbraith, Christopher Trapani and Trevor Weston. Open to the public without charge.


Master Class: American Vision – A choral conducting master class
1 p.m. at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church   (Travel directions)

Ann Howard Jones, professor of music at Boston University, will lead a master class on the craft and technique of chorus preparation and choral conducting. Four choral conductors will work directly with the Boston University Chamber Chorus, receiving constructive criticism and instruction. Dr. Jones will include a larger group of auditors – music students, music teachers, community choral conductors – in her presentation. Tuition will be charged.

The Rhode Island Department of Education has authorized five hours of Professional Development Credit for persons who attend the morning public discussion and the master class.


Performance: American Treasures
8 p.m. at VMA Arts and Cultural Center, Providence

The Providence Singers, with the Festival Orchestra

  • Fern Hill (1961; text by Dylan Thomas) – John Corigliano (b. 1938)
  • The Prairie (1944; text by Carl Sandburg) – Lukas Foss (b. 1922)
  • Proud Music of the Storm (text by Walt Whitman) – Carlyle Sharpe (b. 1965)
    (Commissioned and premiered in 2001 by the Providence Singers)


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Performance: American Masterpieces
4 p.m. at VMA Arts and Cultural Center, Providence

The Providence Singers Treble Chorus

  • Wake Ev’ry Breath – William Billings (1746–1800)

The Junior Providence Singers

  • Hard Times Come Again No More – Stephen Foster (1826–1864)
  • Deal Gently, Lord, With Thy Servants – (John Delorey, arr.)
  • O Daedalus, Fly Away Home (text by Robert Hayden) – Trevor Weston (b. 1967)
    (World Première, performed with Treble Chorus)

The Providence Singers

  • Pilgrims’ Hymn – Stephen Paulus (b. 1949)
  • O Now the drenched land wakes (World Première) – Christopher Trapani (b. 1980)
  • My Lord, What a Mornin’ – H.T. Burleigh
  • Amazing Grace (with Junior Singers and Trebles) – (Robert Page, arr.)

CONCORA

  • Almighty Father (from Mass) – Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990)
  • Ave Maria – Nathaniel Dett (1882–1943)
  • Breathe on Me, Breath of God and God Is Gone Up – Ned Rorem (b. 1923)
  • Two Emily Dickinson Songs (World Première) – Nancy Galbraith (b. 1951)
  • The Flowing Stream (from Chinese Folk Songs) – Chen Yi (b. 1953)
  • Water Night – Eric Whitacre (b. 1970)
  • Motherless Child – (Alice Parker, arr.)
  • Fare Ye Well – (Brazeal Dennard, arr.)

The Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum

  • Frost at Midnight and To Autumn – Earl Kim (1920–1998)
  • Eternitie – Donald Martino (1931–2005)
  • O Nata Lux – Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943)
  • Munus – Steven Sametz (b. 1954)
  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, All Night, All Day – (Jameson Marvin, arr.)

All performers

  • Each Future Song – Jameson Marvin (b. 1941)


More about CONCORA  |   Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum


Reception: An American Celebration

Join the farewell reception with performers, composers, conductors and friends immediately following the concert.