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Choral Arts Philadelphia Celebrates 30 Years of Music Making with Bach, Vivaldi and Audience Sing-Along

November 28, 2012 | By Inna Lobanova-Heasley
Public Relations Manager
Choral Arts Philadelphia honors its past and looks forward into the future in this Anniversary program, featuring two celebrated choral works that have been performed throughout the ensemble’s history.

On December 16, they will be sung for the first time by the 40-voice choir, which according to Artistic Director Matthew Glandorf is “the ideal size for Baroque chamber works.” The choir will be joined by The Philadelphia Bach Collegium performing on period instruments. “This concert is where we are as an ensemble, seeking to dig deeper into the issues of performance practice that can teach us so much of the spirit and intent of the music we perform,” said Glandorf.

Vivaldi is considered one of the greatest Italian composers. According to Glandorf, “the Gloria is not so much about getting the notes right but about getting the spirit right. Our performance of the Gloria will aim at getting to the roots that influenced Bach, since we are focusing so much on the music of the Baroque in this season’s performances.”

J.S. Bach studied Vivaldi’s music and it had a profound effect on his own compositions. A lot of the Vivaldi influences can be heard in his Magnificat which was composed for Christmas. The Magnificat, along with the St. John and St. Matthew Passions, is regarded as one of the great oratorio works.

The Anniversary program will culminate with an audience Sing-Along of works selected to celebrate Choral Arts’ 30 years of music and the holiday season, including John Rutter's Joy to the World (in the style of Handel), Handel’s great Coronation Anthem Zadok the Priest, and Mozart's timeless Ave Verum Corpus.

The official celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the chorus originally known as The Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia (CASP), brings the audience back to the site where its inaugural concert took place in 1982 under the direction of Sean Deibler (1947-2009). Louise Greenberg, a founding member and CASP’s first board president wrote: “We decided that the purposes of CASP would be the attainment of the highest quality in the promotion and performance of choral literature.”

Today, Choral Arts Philadelphia is a fully auditioned chamber choir, and most of the volunteer singers have studied or presently are studying music professionally, a fact that distinguishes the ensemble in the region.

“We also have strong, gifted core singers who will shine during this performance, both singing the choral parts as section leaders and being featured as soloists,” Glandorf said. “However, this particular event is less about our artistic statement and more about presenting the two extraordinary popular pieces of music that we want to share as celebration of 30 years of outstanding music making.”

"Choral Arts Turns 30!" features soloists: tenor Steven Bradshaw, soprano Leslie Johnson, counter-tenor Benjamin Starr, mezzo-soprano Jenifer L. Smith.

The Anniversary Season continues with Winter-Spring 2013 concerts:

G. ROSSINI: Petite Messe Solennelle Saturday, February 9th at 7 PM St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1625 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA

G.F. HANDEL Messiah, in collaboration with Tempesta DiMare Sunday, March 17th, 2013 at 4 PM Irvine Auditorium of the University of Pennsylvania, 34th & Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, PA

J.S. BACH B Minor Mass, as part of Bach Festival 2013 Sunday, May 5, 2013 First Baptist Church, 123 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Choral Arts Philadelphia (originally The Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, founded in 1982), under Artistic Director, Matthew Glandorf, is Philadelphia’s premier chamber chorus producing theatrically and thematically conceived concert programs that envelop the listener in the sounds and sights of past and present. Dedicated to researching and reproducing the original instrumental and vocal practices that have marked the history of music, Choral Arts creates more than just concerts; it transports listeners into immersive musical experiences.

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