The Complete Chorister

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The Complete Chorister
Spring 2021


16 Sesssions
for $180

Monday evenings
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
January 11–May 10 via Zoom

(No sessions on March 8, April 19)

Sign up today.

Participants are strongly encouraged to purchase a choral score of Benjamin Britten's   War Requiem ($38 at sheetmusicplus.com. Currently on sale for $30.40 ).

Why do we sing? What is it about music that draws us together? How does our singing create such a strong sense of community?

When we realized that our singing community would not be able to gather this year, we determined to take advantage of the time to explore together how and why singing—and especially singing in community—is so vital to the human experience.

The Complete Chorister is devised around this idea of gathering our musical community each week. Led by Artistic Director Scott Allen Jarrett and Associate Conductor Katherine Chan, and joined by a distinguished panel of guests, our sessions will:

Offer weekly group singing • Explore topics about and around the music we sing • Highlight the history of choral music in America

Announcing the Spring 2021 Session

Expanded to 16 Sessions! January 11 through May 10.
The Complete Chorister; The Power of Voice
 
Building on the success of our fantastic fall season, we are offering 16 weeks of  The Complete Chorister from January 11 through May 10. Sessions are Monday nights from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Zoom. 
 

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Choral Passport: I Hear America Singing 

The Choral Passport  series continues with five sessions devoted to America's song.
 

Anthony Trecek King will share his research and insights into the music of Black Americans from as early as 1619, and Teresa Neff will share the amazing story of Boston’s own Handel and Haydn Society—both revealing a country writing its song, generation by generation. We'll also examine the impact of Leonard Bernstein and Robert Shaw on American classical music and the performance of choral music.

Cantatas of Bach and Britten’s War Requiem

TCC participants will continue to refine their singing skills and keep their voices in shape in six sessions devoted to our core repertoire.

BU Professor of History and Political Science  James Schmidt  will help us understand both the cultural, poetic, and historical contexts that come together in one of the most emblematic works of the 20th Century: Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. The music of Johann Sebastian Bach has long been a favorite of Chorale members, and TCC participants this Spring will have a chance to learn three of Scott’s favorite cantatas with one of the world’s most sought after Bach singers, counter-tenor Reginald Mobley, as our guest respondent.

Why We Sing

TCC participants will collaborate with the Chorale’s ESL Chorus in a “digital choir” recording project and also rehearse and debut a commissioned work.
 

Our rendition of the National Anthem with our ESL Chorus will be offered virtually to continue our service-in-song for naturalization ceremonies. In August 2020,  we commissioned Seattle composer and conductor Karen P. Thomas to write a new piece, which we will study, record, and premiere at our final session on May 10, 2021.


Programming

(Programming and presenters subject to change)

January 11

Glory Hallelujah!

The history of Boston's Handel and Haydn Society, which tracks the history and progress of choral singing in America

with Teresa Neff, PhD

Teresa Neff Bio

TCC Teresa Neff 120.jpgTeresa Neff, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in History/Culture at MIT. She has has given papers at the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society, the Society for 18th-Century Studies annual meetings, the Architecture/Music/Acoustics Conference, the Western Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, and the Society for American Music. 

Neff has been the Handel and Haydn Society’s Christopher Hogwood Historically Informed Performance Fellow since 2009 and co-edited The Handel and Haydn Society: Bringing Music to Life for 200 Years, in addition to authoring a chapter for that publication. 

MORE >

January 18

Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach

Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot, BWV 39

with Reginald Mobley

Reginald Mobley Bio

TCC Reginald Mobley 120.jpgAfter starting his classical music career as a member of twice GRAMMY® nominated ensemble Seraphic Fire, countertenor Reggie Mobley has since appeared with Academy of Ancient Music, Agave Baroque, Bach Collegium San Diego, Calgary Symphony, Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists, Pacific Music Works, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, TENET, and The Handel + Haydn Society. With the latter, he had the honor of becoming the first Black person to lead H+H in its Bicentennial year. Recent festival appearances include Bachfest Leipzig, Festival Berlioz, Early Music Vancouver, Thüringer Bachwoche, Portland Bach Experience, and the Boston Early Music Festival. 

MORE >

January 25

Britten War Requiem, Part 1

Modern musical memorials

with James Schmidt, PhD

James Schmidt Bio

TCC James Schmidt 120.jpgProfessor Schmidt specializes in European intellectual history and the history of political and social thought from the eighteenth century to the present. He is the author of Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Between Phenomenology and Structuralism (1985) and the editor of What is Enlightenment? Eighteenth-Century Answers and Twentieth-Century Questions (1996) and Theodor Adorno (2007) and co-editor, with Amelie Rorty, of the Critical Guide to Kant’s Idea for a Universal History (2009). The recipient of a number of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, he also received the James L. Clifford Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, was a Fellow in History at the Liguria Center for the Arts and Humanities, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.

MORE >

February 1

Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach

Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV 75

with Reginald Mobley

Reginald Mobley Bio

TCC Reginald Mobley 120.jpgAfter starting his classical music career as a member of twice GRAMMY® nominated ensemble Seraphic Fire, countertenor Reggie Mobley has since appeared with Academy of Ancient Music, Agave Baroque, Bach Collegium San Diego, Calgary Symphony, Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists, Pacific Music Works, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, TENET, and The Handel + Haydn Society. With the latter, he had the honor of becoming the first Black person to lead H+H in its Bicentennial year. Recent festival appearances include Bachfest Leipzig, Festival Berlioz, Early Music Vancouver, Thüringer Bachwoche, Portland Bach Experience, and the Boston Early Music Festival. 

MORE >

February 8

Why We Sing

Digital Choir Project with ESL Chorus, I

with Scott Allen Jarrett and Katherine Chan

Participants will collaborate with the Chorale’s ESL Chorus in a “digital choir” recording of our national anthem, to continue our support of naturalization ceremonies.

M O R E

Music and English are universal languages. Everyone should have access to these languages without fear of making mistakes, whether spoken or sung. In partnership with the Boston Public Library, our Bridges E.S.L. Singing Group provides participants with an opportunity to make vocal music, improve their English language skills, and develop friendships with fellow community members — singers from Back Bay Chorale.

Learn more about Bridges >

February 15

I, Too, Sing America, Part 1
(1619–1945)

Music of Black Americans from the earliest slave songs through the "concert spiritual"

with Anthony Trecek-King

Anthony Trecek-King Bio

TCC Anthony Trecek-King 120.jpgOver the past 20 years, Dr. Anthony Trecek-King has cultivated an international reputation as a choral conductor, scholar, pedagogue, and media personality. He is passionate about cultivating artistically excellent ensembles that explore socially relevant issues through emotionally immersive programs, challenging both artists and audiences to feel and think. Dr. Trecek-King has recently been appointed Associate Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities at The Harrt School, University of Hartford.

Ensembles under his direction were integral to projects that have won a Pulitzer Prize (Madam White Snake, Zhou Long), received a Grammy (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Boston Modern Orchestra Project), and earned the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from Presidential Committee on the Arts (Boston Children’s Chorus). Dr. Trecek-King has worked with a variety of artists and ensembles including Leslie Odom Jr., Melinda Doolittle, Seraphic Fire, Keith Lockhart, John Williams, Gil Rose, Simon Halsey, Yo Yo Ma, and Roomful of Teeth.

MORE >

February 22

I, Too, Sing America, Part 2
(Civil Rights Era)

Lift ev'ry voice – We shall overcome – Precious Lord: The music that shaped a movement

with Anthony Trecek-King

Anthony Trecek-King Bio

TCC Anthony Trecek-King 120.jpgOver the past 20 years, Dr. Anthony Trecek-King has cultivated an international reputation as a choral conductor, scholar, pedagogue, and media personality. He is passionate about cultivating artistically excellent ensembles that explore socially relevant issues through emotionally immersive programs, challenging both artists and audiences to feel and think. Dr. Trecek-King has recently been appointed Associate Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities at The Harrt School, University of Hartford.

Ensembles under his direction were integral to projects that have won a Pulitzer Prize (Madam White Snake, Zhou Long), received a Grammy (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Boston Modern Orchestra Project), and earned the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from Presidential Committee on the Arts (Boston Children’s Chorus). Dr. Trecek-King has worked with a variety of artists and ensembles including Leslie Odom Jr., Melinda Doolittle, Seraphic Fire, Keith Lockhart, John Williams, Gil Rose, Simon Halsey, Yo Yo Ma, and Roomful of Teeth.

MORE >

March 1

Why We Sing

Digital Choir Project with ESL Chorus, II

with Scott Allen Jarrett and Katherine Chan

Participants will collaborate with the Chorale’s ESL Chorus in a “digital choir” recording of our national anthem, to continue our support of naturalization ceremonies.

M O R E

Music and English are universal languages. Everyone should have access to these languages without fear of making mistakes, whether spoken or sung. In partnership with the Boston Public Library, our Bridges E.S.L. Singing Group provides participants with an opportunity to make vocal music, improve their English language skills, and develop friendships with fellow community members — singers from Back Bay Chorale.

Learn more about Bridges >

March 15

Why We Sing

Canticum Novum Digital Choir Project, I

with Scott Allen Jarrett

Back Bay Chorale commissioned Seattle composer and conductor Karen P. Thomas to write a new piece, which we will study, record, and premiere at our final session on May 10.

Karen P. Thomas Bio

TCC Karen P Thomas 120.jpgKaren P. Thomas, composer and conductor, is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Seattle Pro Musica. Her compositions are performed and broadcast throughout the world, by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble, NOTUS,  and the Vocal Consort of Brussels. Her works are published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing and KarenPThomas Music (this website), and have been featured at numerous festivals and conferences.

A prize-winning composer, she has received grants from the NEA, The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and Meet the Composer, among numerous others. Among her many commissions are works for the Harvard/Radcliffe Choirs, the Grand Jubilee in Rome, the American Guild of Organists, the Pacific Chorale, Chorus Austin, and the Association of Anglican Musicians.

MORE >

March 22

A Simple Song

Leonard Bernstein's Mass
March 29

Robert Shaw

Man of Many Voices

Ann Howard Jones Bio

TCC Ann Howard Jones.jpgAnn Howard Jonesis professor emerita of Music at Boston University. During her twenty-two years as director of choral activities, she founded and conducted the Symphonic and Chamber Choruses, supervised conducting students in the Concert Chorus and Women’s Chorale, taught graduate choral conducting, and administered the MM and DMA programs in choral conducting. 

Recognized as a distinguished clinician, adjudicator, teacher and conductor, Dr. Jones has led many all-state and regional choruses, workshops, and master classes in the U.S., Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. She has been invited to teach and conduct at the University of Iowa, the University of North Texas, Michigan State University, University of Missouri University of Miami, San Diego State University, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Southern Methodist University, Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and many others. 

From 1984 to 1998, Dr. Jones was the assistant conductor to the late Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony choruses, where she was the assistant conductor for choruses, sang in the alto section, assisted with the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers, and helped to organize the Robert Shaw Institute. She sang and recorded with the Festival Singers both in France and in the U.S. The Festival Singers were also represented in annual performances of major works for chorus and orchestra at Carnegie Hall in a series of performance workshops. 

Among the honors that Jones has received are the coveted Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching from Boston University, a Fulbright professorship to Brazil, and a lectureship for the Lily Foundation. At the ACDA national conference in 2011, she was named the recipient of the Robert Shaw Choral Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, the highest award given by the association. In 2012 she received the Distinguished Service award from Chorus America, and in 2015 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Choral Arts New England.

April 5

Why We Sing

Canticum Novum Digital Choir Project, II

with Karen P. Thomas

Back Bay Chorale commissioned Seattle composer and conductor Karen P. Thomas to write a new piece, which we will study, record, and premiere at our final session on May 10.

Karen P. Thomas Bio

TCC Karen P Thomas 120.jpgKaren P. Thomas, composer and conductor, is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Seattle Pro Musica. Her compositions are performed and broadcast throughout the world, by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble, NOTUS,  and the Vocal Consort of Brussels. Her works are published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing and KarenPThomas Music (this website), and have been featured at numerous festivals and conferences.

A prize-winning composer, she has received grants from the NEA, The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and Meet the Composer, among numerous others. Among her many commissions are works for the Harvard/Radcliffe Choirs, the Grand Jubilee in Rome, the American Guild of Organists, the Pacific Chorale, Chorus Austin, and the Association of Anglican Musicians.

MORE >

April 12

Britten War Requiem, Part 2

Poetry of Wilfred Owen

with James Schmidt, PhD

James Schmidt Bio

TCC James Schmidt 120.jpgProfessor Schmidt specializes in European intellectual history and the history of political and social thought from the eighteenth century to the present. He is the author of Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Between Phenomenology and Structuralism (1985) and the editor of What is Enlightenment? Eighteenth-Century Answers and Twentieth-Century Questions (1996) and Theodor Adorno (2007) and co-editor, with Amelie Rorty, of the Critical Guide to Kant’s Idea for a Universal History (2009). The recipient of a number of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, he also received the James L. Clifford Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, was a Fellow in History at the Liguria Center for the Arts and Humanities, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.

MORE >

April 26

Britten War Requiem, Part 3

The futility of war: The case for the War Requiem today

with James Schmidt, PhD

James Schmidt Bio

TCC James Schmidt 120.jpgProfessor Schmidt specializes in European intellectual history and the history of political and social thought from the eighteenth century to the present. He is the author of Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Between Phenomenology and Structuralism (1985) and the editor of What is Enlightenment? Eighteenth-Century Answers and Twentieth-Century Questions (1996) and Theodor Adorno (2007) and co-editor, with Amelie Rorty, of the Critical Guide to Kant’s Idea for a Universal History (2009). The recipient of a number of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, he also received the James L. Clifford Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, was a Fellow in History at the Liguria Center for the Arts and Humanities, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.

MORE >

May 3

Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach

Man singet mit Freuden, BWV 149

with Reginald Mobley

Reginald Mobley Bio

TCC Reginald Mobley 120.jpgAfter starting his classical music career as a member of twice GRAMMY® nominated ensemble Seraphic Fire, countertenor Reggie Mobley has since appeared with Academy of Ancient Music, Agave Baroque, Bach Collegium San Diego, Calgary Symphony, Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists, Pacific Music Works, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, TENET, and The Handel + Haydn Society. With the latter, he had the honor of becoming the first Black person to lead H+H in its Bicentennial year. Recent festival appearances include Bachfest Leipzig, Festival Berlioz, Early Music Vancouver, Thüringer Bachwoche, Portland Bach Experience, and the Boston Early Music Festival. 

MORE >

May 10

Why We Sing

Canticum Novum Digital Choir Project, III

with Karen P. Thomas

Back Bay Chorale commissioned Seattle composer and conductor Karen P. Thomas to write a new piece, which we will premiere at this session.

Karen P. Thomas Bio

TCC Karen P Thomas 120.jpgKaren P. Thomas, composer and conductor, is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Seattle Pro Musica. Her compositions are performed and broadcast throughout the world, by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble, NOTUS,  and the Vocal Consort of Brussels. Her works are published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing and KarenPThomas Music (this website), and have been featured at numerous festivals and conferences.

A prize-winning composer, she has received grants from the NEA, The American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and Meet the Composer, among numerous others. Among her many commissions are works for the Harvard/Radcliffe Choirs, the Grand Jubilee in Rome, the American Guild of Organists, the Pacific Chorale, Chorus Austin, and the Association of Anglican Musicians.

MORE >