True Concord Voices & Orchestra’s 2017-18 season was announced last weekend at its season finale, Russian Masters. The ensemble continues its tradition of offering music-loving fans both classical favorites and innovative, contemporary works. Subsequent to a record-setting 2016-17 box office season, the ensemble is providing an encore by announcing the biggest, boldest line up to-date next year, featuring renowned composers, world-class guest artists, adventurous collaborations, a world premiere and several performances offered on the big stage. The professional chamber choir and orchestra is especially pleased to announce the first commissioned work of the Dorothy Dyer Vanek Fund for Excellence which will feature a work by composer Gerald Near in collaborative concerts with the UA Poetry Center by setting music to poetry of Emily Dickinson.
True Concord is moving to the big stage for both Bernstein’s Mass and Verdi’s Requiem, which will be performed at UA’s Centennial Hall. Mass will be a featured work of the Tucson Desert Song Festival next January as it celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, according to a news release. The performance features UA Dance Ensemble, Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus and Grammy-nominated baritone Jubilant Sykes with True Concord singers in two performances at Centennial Hall. Recruiting Sykes, in particular, was a coup for Music Director Eric Holtan, who notes that “Sykes is in high demand world-wide to sing the title role in Mass.” Sykes’s biography states he “brings a new dimension to the traditional career of the classically trained vocalist by drawing on gospel and jazz influences to deliver performances in differing musical genres that often leaves audiences and critics searching for new superlatives.” Holtan noted that “it made sense to stage Bernstein’s massive theatrical work for singers, players and dancers at Centennial Hall which will accommodate the larger number of performers. As a cornerstone performance of the Festival, and with a superstar such as Jubilant Sykes in the title role, it is sure to draw a large audience.” Bus service between Tucson and Green Valley will be provided for the Sunday afternoon performance for an additional fee.
Another partnership with the University of Arizona’s Arizona Choir will transpire during the production of Verdi’s Requiem, also to be performed at Centennial Hall. Earlier this year, Arizona Choir performed with True Concord during a record-breaking series of three sold-out-performances of Mendelssohn’s Elijah. (Tenor Richard Smagur, a featured singer in Elijah, recently won the 2017 Met auditions).
True Concord’s second program next season, Metamorphosis, will be performed in confluence with Tucson’s Day of Dead, the first weekend in November. It features Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang’s little match girl passion, which is based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen, and influenced by Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. The program also includes Gabriel Faure’s beloved Requiem.
Next season concludes in a collaboration with the UA Poetry Center. The inaugural winner of the Stephen Paulus Emerging Composers Competition will have their winning composition premiered. Music Director Eric Holtan and UA Poetry Center selected a Dickinson text as the basis for the national competition. Also included will be other community events, such as poetry readings featuring works by Emily Dickinson, at the Poetry Center. The central piece on the concerts is the first commissioned work of the Dorothy Dyer Vanek Fund for Excellence by Green Valley composer Gerald Near.
The season opens in October featuring British composers through the ages, from Renaissance composer William Byrd (d. 1623) up to and including the Beatles, icons of the British Invasion musical movement. The program also includes works by Purcell, Handel, Howells and Britten’s Hymn to St. Cecilia, a tribute to the patron saint of music. True Concord follows its holiday tradition of a performance of new and traditional holiday carols with audience participation.
More information and tickets are available online at trueconcord.org and by calling 520-401.2651.
A brief synopsis of the 2017-18 season follows:
The British are Coming!
William Byrd to the Beatles
Featuring True Concord choir, soloists and chamber players
Thursday, October 12-Sunday, October 15, various venues
Celebrating Day of the Dead
David Lang little match girl passion
Gabriel Fauré Requiem
Featuring True Concord choir, soloists and Guy Whatley, organ
Thursday, November 2-Sunday, November 5, various venues
Christmas Lessons & Carols by Candlelight
Featuring True Concord choir, soloists, harp and Guy Whatley, organ
Thursday, December 7-Sunday, December 10, various venues
Featuring True Concord choir and chamber players, University of Arizona Dance Ensemble, Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus and Grammy-nominated Jubilant Sykes, baritone, in partnership with Tucson Desert Song Festival
Friday, January 26, 7:30pm, Centennial Hall, University of Arizona
Sunday, January 28, 3:00pm, Centennial Hall, University of Arizona
Featuring True Concord choir and orchestra, University of Arizona’s Arizona Choir, Arianna Zukerman, soprano, Teresa Buchholz, mezzo-soprano, Hugo Vera, tenor, Andrew Stuckey, baritone
Saturday, February 24, 7:00pm: Valley Presbyterian Church, Green Valley
Sunday, February 25, 3:00pm: Centennial Hall, University of Arizona
Evoking music in Emily Dickinson’s poetry
Premiering the first commissioned work of the Dorothy Dyer Vanek Fund for Excellence.
Featuring True Concord choir, soloists and orchestra in partnership with University of Arizona Poetry Center
Thursday, March 22-Sunday, March 25, various venues
About True Concord Voices & Orchestra:
Grammy-nominated True Concord is Southern Arizona’s professional chamber choir and orchestra. Founded in 2004, its mission is to create experiences with music that move, enrich and inspire. This mission is accomplished primarily through the performance of masterworks and the music of America’s cultural mosaic. More information at http://www.trueconcord.org/and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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