For its 2015-2016 season, the Washington Master Chorale will celebrate its commitment to new music with a year of commissions, presenting a newly commissioned American choral work on each of its three concert programs. The season, entitled Somewhere I Have Never Traveled: New Directions in American Choral Music, begins on Sunday, October 18 with a concert entitled “Modern Romantics” pairs Morten Lauridsen’s choral cycle Les Chansons Des Roses based on texts of Maria Rainer Rilke with the world premiere of a new work by composer and conductor Julian Wachner. On December 20, the Chorale will present its annual holiday concert, “Noel! Noel!” — a delightful mix of seasonal classics with the world premiere of a new choral work by Russell Nadel on text of Sara Teasdale. For their final concert, the Chorale will present the “Light of Compassion” featuring the world premiere of “Song of the Beloved,” a choral cantata for soprano and tenor soloists, chorus, and string trio by composer Robert Kyr. Kyr’s work will be performed along with Benjamin Britten’s 1963 masterpiece Cantata Misericordium.
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On the Air and In the News
NSO Appearance Review
On February 19-21, 2015, the Chorale made its second appearance with the National Symphony in Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, conducted by Matthias Pintscher. The Chorale’s performance was singled out in The Washington Post review by Anne Midgette — “Deserving of praise was the Washington Master Chorale, which was only founded in 2010 and which mustered a warm sound in the choral parts that helped unify this piece and make it a highlight of the evening.”
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WMC Receives NEA Grant
Washington Master Chorale receives a National Endowment for the Arts Grant to support the commissioning of a new choral work by composer, conductor and keyboard artist Julian Wachner, music director of The Washington Chorus, as well as performances of choral works by composers Norman Dello Joio and Morten Lauridsen.
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NSO Pops Review (December 2014)
“The best combination came early, when the haunting vocals of Schubert’s Ave Maria (provided by the third component of the performance, the Washington Master Chorale) were paired with aerialist Christine van Loo’s triumphant silks choreography.”
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News and Reviews for “A Chorale Tribute to Leonard Bernstein” (October 2014)
Washington Master Chorale offers lively Bernstein tribute from ‘Candide’ to ‘Lark’, by Anne Midgette, The Washington Post
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Washington Master Chorale presents an interesting all-Bernstein program at National Presbyterian, Metropolitan Arts Reviews Blog
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Marin Alsop and Michael Tilson Thomas on why Leonard Bernstein and his music live on, by Anne Midgette, The Washington Post
(reference to “A Choral Tribute to Leonard Bernstein” concert in article)
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“The Washington Master Chorale is nothing short of radiant…the choral sound [is] positively gorgeous…a fascinating disc.” — Fanfare Magazine
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Our winter concerts included a new work by composer and conductor Donald McCullough — “When Christ Was Born,” eight settings of Middle English carol texts for chorus, soprano and baritone soloists and harp (read the Washington Post review of A Winter’s Night on December 16, 2013).
We ended our 2012-13 season on a high note with a concert of new American choral music, featuring the premiere of “The Eye Begins to See,” by Donald McCullough (read the Washington Post review of The Splendid Silent Sun on March 3rd).
WETA evening announcer Nicole Lacroix spoke to Thomas Colohan about the program and about the distinctly American sound of the Washington Master Chorale. Listen to the interview:
Read about the Washington Master Chorale and hear from artistic director Thomas Colohan in “A long finish for a choral director, a new look for Washington’s choruses” (June 11, 2012 in The Washington Post)
Read a letter of appreciation from Alice Parker (Ocober 11, 2011)