The Wachner Fund for New Music
Established June 2006 to commemorate Julian Wachner’s
decade of service as artistic director of the Providence Singers
The choral renaissance that arrived with Julian Wachner sparked great interest in performing new music. Carlyle Sharpe’s Proud Music of the Storm for chorus and orchestra and Wachner’s own Sometimes I Feel Alive, a setting of three poems by e.e. cummings for chorus a cappella, helped make commissioning new choral works a central part of the Singers mission.
To thank Maestro Wachner for his decade of artistic leadership, the Singers raised an endowment for new music and presented it at a reception following Wachner’s final Singers concert — Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, performed at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Bristol, Sunday, June 11, 2006.
- Tarik O’Regan: Where All Is Buried
The inaugural commission of the Wachner Fund, Where All Is Buried is a setting of “Liberty” by Edward Thomas, one of Britain’s prominent World War I poets. The Singers sang the premiere at Beneficent Congregational Church in Providence on November 15, 2009. It is scored for SATB chorus, vibraphone and percussion.
- Elena Ruehr: Bears
Premiered on April 26, 2014, at St. Joseph’s Church in Providence, Bears sets a poem of the same name by Adrienne Rich, deeply evocative of childhood. It is scored for SATB chorus and piano.
- Ola Gjeilo: Westminster Bridge
Setting a poem by William Wordsworth, for SATB chorus, string quartet, and piano.
The Singers gave the premiere at Central Congregational Church in Providence on May 13, 2017, accompanied by the Aurea Ensemble and the composer at the piano.
Founding donors of the Wachner Fund for New Music