The Princeton Singers: celebrating thirty-five years of singing
Posted 5/15/2018

The Princeton SingersThirty-five years ago, when John Bertalot left his post as organist at Blackburn Cathedral in England to become Music Director at Trinity Church, Princeton, he brought with him a plan to found what became The Princeton Singers. How this plan has blossomed! Selecting members from the Trinity Choirs as well as other fine amateur singers, he envisioned a choir that would sing primarily English Cathedral Music as well as madrigals and folk songs. Under his direction, The Princeton Singers developed a reputation for “excellent tuning, impeccable control, and subtly nuanced phrasing,” a reputation that continues today. More...

Cantori New York offers U.S. premiere of Dutch requiem
Posted 5/14/2018

Cantori New York at National SawdustAward-winning choral ensemble Cantori New York, led by Artistic Director Mark Shapiro, concludes its spring season on May 19 and 20 with the U.S. premiere of Dutch composer Daan Manneke’s ethereal Psalmenrequiem. Performances will also include Leonard Bernstein’s seldom-performed choruses for the 1952 play The Lark (based on the life of Joan of Arc) and a collection of luminous motets by Catalan composer Francisco Valls. The enterprising program embodies Cantori’s continuous support of musical innovation and commitment to daring repertoire. Just last month, Cantori was named a recipient of the Chorus America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, the fourth time the group has received this honor. More...

Cantigas founder directs final concert in Hoboken May 19
Posted 5/11/2018

Joan LitmanIn a yellow school room in the middle of Hoboken, NJ, a diverse group of women gather every Thursday night. There are students, teachers, architects, writers, brokers, consultants, medical professionals and small business owners--ranging in age from teens to seniors--who were born in Venezuela, Japan, Australia, Poland, New Zealand and Taiwan. Whether they walked a few blocks over from their childhood homes or zipped in from their Manhattan corporate jobs, when they start singing together as Cantigas Women’s Choir, it’s clear they’re all here because of their shared admiration for artistic director, Joan Litman.

Litman directs her final Cantigas concert this spring before she retires from the group she has led for 16 years. Her final performance, entitled "Of Heaven and Earth, Land and Sea", will be at Hoboken’s St. Matthew Trinity Church on May 19.

“The uniqueness of Cantigas is because of Joany,” says para-professional Lynne Connell, a soprano in her 70s who has been with the group for 15 years. “Not only is Joany an outstanding conductor and artistic director, who radiates flair and skill, but she also has an infectious way of teaching and drawing the very best out of us.” More...

Ember explores post-WWI issues surrounding racial and gender equality
Posted 5/9/2018

Ember: Safe for DemocracyThe Ember ensemble of Schola Cantorum on Hudson, under the direction of conductor Deborah Simpkin King, will perform "Safe for Democracy" on May 19 in New York City and May 20 in Montclair, NJ. The concert will feature the poetry of Langston Hughes set to music by four different composers and popular works from the Harlem Renaissance and post-World War I composers, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin, among others.

The concerts will continue Ember’s year-long examination of the human impact of military conflict, in this case through the lens of ongoing sociological changes in America that were dramatically intensified as a result of WWI. Issues surrounding gender and racial equality, as well as the emergence of increasingly noteworthy American-trained musicians against the backdrop of the immigration of many post-war European artists, will all be represented through music of the period. More...

Archive of old VAN Features

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  • Choral Chameleon's founder and director Vince Peterson is the 2018 recipient of Chorus America's Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal. Read more at Chorus America. (2018-4-25)
  • The Pro Arte Chorale of Ridgewood, NJ welcomes Bryan Zaros as its new music director, effective July 1. Bryan succeeds Steven Fox, who will become the music director of The Cathedral Choral Society in Washington, DC. (2018-4-24)
  • The New York Times has an article about Encore Creativity for Older Adults and its choral programs for people over 55. Encore's New York groups are starting up in March. (2018-2-26)
  • Choral Chameleon is proud to announce, in its 10th anniversary season, that it has been selected by National Sawdust, the ground-breaking artist incubator and performance space founded in 2015, to be the first choir to participate in their coveted residency program for the 2017-2018 season. Choral Chameleon’s residency will be anchored in National Sawdust’s new curated series, Classical Sundays. Devoted to bringing classical artistry to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Classical Sundays will showcase the artists and ensembles who are moving the classical and contemporary classical music field forward in ways that align with National Sawdust’s experimental and artist-led DNA. The new series will present world premieres, with participants pushing the boundaries of what their instruments (or voices) can do, and/or engaging in unexpected collaborations across disciplines. Instrumental ensembles in residence alongside Choral Chameleon include International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Contemporaneous and The Refugee Orchestra Project. (2018-1-23)
  • Encore Creativity for Older Adults, the nation’s largest choral program for adults 55 and over, has announced the start of two Encore ensembles in New York. The Encore Chorale opens Monday, March 19, with rehearsals from 1 to 2:30 PM at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. Encore Rocks (a rock-n-roll chorus) opens Wednesday, March 21, with rehearsals from 1 to 2:30 PM at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. Encore is based in Washington, DC, where it runs fifteen Encore Chorales and six Encore Rocks choruses. Encore also has ensembles in Chicago, Denver, Pennsylvania, Ohio and California. Learn more at encorecreativity.org. (2018-1-11)

Archive of old "News" items

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The latest additions to the site's content and features.
  • April 26, 2018: New checkboxes for the Choir Directory allow you to filter the list by locale and rehearsal night and, for the first time, to find choirs that don't require auditions.
  • April 9, 2018: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for Sing Choruses in Public, a midtown-based chorus specializing in the works of Gilbert & Sullivan.
  • March 29, 2018: New link for The Vocal Company, offering services to make your a cappella better.
  • March 17, 2018: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for the Trinity Baptist Church Choir on the Upper East Side.
  • February 7, 2018: Made a small change to the code on the Concert Calendar so that anchored links from other pages (for example, the calendar listings on the home page) now take you to the correct spot in the calendar. Apologies for past misdirections.
  • January 25, 2018: New link for Run by Singers, a UK-based outfit arranging singing holiday weeks and weekends since 2003.
  • January 19, 2018: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for the East End Singers, a self-directed group of eight based in Port Jefferson, NY.
  • January 15, 2018: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for Encore Chorale. New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for Encore Rocks. Both groups, based in Manhattan, are offerings of Encore Creativity for Older Adults and are intended for singers 55 and older.
  • November 29, 2017: New link for OPUS Tours, performance tour specialists to more than 40 countries.
  • October 30, 2017: New Choir Directory listing for The Mark Howell Singers, a Gospel-focused group based in Manhattan.

Archive of old "New on VAN" items

See also the Info Exchange.
  • Need some exquisite beaded jewelry to complement your concert attire? Or perhaps a distinctive gift for that special singer in your life? Or maybe you'd like to host a jewelry show to benefit your favorite non-profit organization? Try Carnelian Knoll, where you'll find necklaces, bracelets and earrings of vintage beads and silver handcrafted by Julie Siegmund.
  • Looking for rehearsal space or performance venues? Try NYC Music Spaces, part of Fractured Atlas's SpaceFinder NYC database of available rehearsal and performance spaces for instrumental and vocal musicians. You'll find places to rent, from studios to large venues, for classical, jazz, rock--whatever you need to rehearse or perform in NYC.
  • Looking for an outstanding vocal ensemble coach? Mark Johnson, possessor of an amazing ear and terrific interpretive insights in a variety of styles, is available to coach your group. Contact Mark via e-mail.
  • Liz Fleischer's Sight-Singing Program is offered each season at the Kaufman Center (129 West 67th Street). Classes include ear-training, rhythm and pitch reading, music theory, basic notation and terminology, with emphasis on learning to hold a part with confidence. For more info, visit www.kaufman-center.org/lucyadults_mus_sight.htm, e-mail fleischerliz@aol.com or adultdivision@kaufman-center.org or call (212) 501-3362. The sight-singing program is just one of the classes offered by the Kaufman Center's Lucy Moses School.

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