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The Dessoff Choirs Opens Mid-Winter Festival with 'Movable Type' on January 15 at 7:30 pm

January 8, 2013 | By Amy Laudicano
Lois Cohn Associates
NEW YORK, NY – The Dessoff Choirs’ Mid-Winter Festival, WORD•PLAY, under the direction of Music Director, Christopher Shepard, opens on Tuesday, January 15 with a choral performance that showcases the myriad ways choral composers rise to the challenge of setting text. The concert – Movable Type - will be held at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street, with a pre-concert discussion between Christopher Shepard and composer Ricky Ian Gordon beginning at 7:00 pm.

Five By Langston, a setting of five poems (New Moon, Harlem Night Song, Luck, Prayer, and Joy) by Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston Hughes, will be performed in the venue that bears the poet’s name. The program also includes works by an eclectic group of contemporary composers, including Elliott Carter, Arvo Pärt, Samuel Barber, and Eric Whitacre.

Dessoff’s second Mid-Winter festival will be presented in venues around New York City from January 15 through March 16, 2013. The festival features a variety of events that explore the dynamic relationship between text and music. Shepard continues, “The basic premise behind the festival is that vocal music can be as much a literary art as it is a musical art.” The second event in the series, Sing-In: Whitman and Frost on January 26, invites choral singers to join Dessoff in exploring the marriage of text and music with two staples of the choral repertoire, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with text by Walt Whitman, and Randall Thompson’s Frostiana with text by Robert Frost. Other festival events include Self-Portrait: Ricky Ian Gordon on February 7, Life of a Song: The Art of (Re)Writing on February 9, and A Night of Wonders on March 15 and 16 with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks.

TICKETS: Individual tickets: $15-35; discounted festival packages: $135; to order tickets online, please visit

PRESS TICKETS: For press tickets, artist bios or images, please contact Amy Laudicano, 212.874.7624,

PROGRAM “MOVABLE TYPE” Tuesday, January 15, 7:30 pm 7:00 pm pre-concert discussion with Ricky Ian Gordon Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture 515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street, New York City

The Dessoff Choirs Christopher Shepard, conductor Steven Ryan, piano Catherine Venable, piano

Different Takes I David Foltz She Walks in Beauty Martin Sedek She Walks in Beauty

Just Add Words Edward Elgar, Arr. Cameron Lux Aeterna Samuel Barber Agnus Dei

Different Takes II Norman Dinerstein When David Heard Eric Whitacre When David Heard

Plain Prose Arvo Pärt Which was the son of Elliot Carter The Defense of Corinth

One Hand Tied Percy Grainger Londonderry Air

The Poetry of Langston Hughes Ricky Ian Gordon Five By Langston (New York Premiere) ###




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