VOYAGES AND VENUES: In addition to its subscription series of concerts of its 2019-20 Season, Baltimore Choral Arts will be led by music director Anthony Blake Clark in a concert tour of England.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Music Director Anthony Blake Clark, by Arts Laureate)
by Patrick D. McCoy
Beyond its journey here locally, Baltimore Choral Arts will begin the 54th concert season with a musical journey through America, England, Hungary, Italy, and Vienna during their four-concert subscription series. A special highlight will be the ensemble’s 10-day concert tour in January 2020. “This prestigious invitation to perform with England’s City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is a high honor and amazing opportunity. It allows Baltimore Choral Arts to share great American choral culture as well as take part in England’s profound choral tradition, culminating in performances with one of Europe’s top orchestras” the music director for Baltimore Choral Arts stated.
This season Choral Arts will embark on its new home in Shriver Hall Auditorium. The opening November concert will feature a tour of American music, curated by Clark. An American Suite: From Billings to Bernstein features great American choral classics, from the 18th century music of William Billings to the music of Copland and Bernstein, and a world premiere of Anthony Blake Clark’s newest arrangement, Higher Ground.
Moving into the holiday season, the December concert will feature holiday choral favorites at the Baltimore Basilica which continues a 36-year tradition with Christmas with Choral Arts. A special feature this year, Baltimore Choral Arts will explore the Christmas spirit with chorus and orchestra, broadcasted by WMAR-TV and aired on WYPR and WBJC. Choral Arts and ever-lovable Pepito the Clown bring even more holiday cheer with a Baltimore reimagining of Charles Dicken’s classic novella A Christmas Carol with our concert Christmas for Kids: The Baltimore Scrooge at the Gilman School.
During the England tour January 10-20, 2020, a highlighted performance will be the prestigious invitation to sing Gustav Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s 100th anniversary celebration. This gala will be led by conducting superstar and CBSO Music Director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. The Baltimore Choral Arts Chorus will also perform at venues in London and Oxford.
In terms of collaborations, Baltimore Choral Arts and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) will reunite in their second, multi-sensory concert in March with Monteverdi Vespers. The Monteverdi 1610 Vespers’ ambitious take on the Vespers’liturgy will be illuminated by MICA’s graduate students’ artwork and the musical partnerships with the Baltimore Baroque Band, Peabody Renaissance Ensemble, and Washington Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble, elevating this historically-informed performance with modern context.
Closing the season will be the Mozart Requiem in May and also showcasing Hornist Philip Munds in Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 1 in D major, and tenor Steven Soph in Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings. Mozart’s “Requiem” is one of the iconic works in the orchestral and choral repertoire.
The Baltimore Choral Arts Society is one of Maryland’s premier cultural institutions. The Symphonic Chorus, Chorus, and Chamber Singers perform throughout the mid-Atlantic region, as well as in Washington, D.C., New York, and in Europe. The Baltimore Choral Arts Society provides a number of thoughtful and impactful music education programs that serve youth in and around Baltimore. These programs include CoroLAB, a new partnership with Overlea High School’s choral music program; Vocal Fellows, an expanded professional development program for early-career singers; Student Composer Project, a competition for high-school and college composers; and our 36th annual Christmas for Kids. Through these four primary educational programs, Choral Arts serves the very young to early-career adult musicians.
Full four-concert subscriptions are available now with an Early Bird discount. PICK2 or More subscription option and single tickets are available Friday, June 7th. For more information, please visit www.BaltimoreChoralArts.org or call the box office at 410-523-7070 ext 301.
A native of Petersburg, VA, Patrick holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Virginia State University and a MM in Church Music from Shenandoah Conservatory. Formerly the Performing Arts Columnist for Washington Life Magazine, he currently is a freelance writer, publishing articles for several noted publications, including Early Music America, The Afro-American Newspaper, CBS Washington and Examiner.com. He is a member of the Music Critics Association of North America, National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., a member of the Shenandoah University Alumni Board of Directors and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He serves as Organist/Choirmaster at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Zion Parish in Beltsville, MD. Visit http://www.patrickdmccoy.com