National Master Chorale Announces its Inaugural Concert

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The newly-formed Washington, D.C. area-based National Master Chorale is presenting its inaugural concert on Sunday, February 28, 2010 at the National Presbyterian Church. The program, entitled "Winter into Spring," will begin with a pre-concert lecture by esteemed composer Morten Lauridsen.

In its first appearance in Washington, D.C., the National Master Chorale (http://www.nationalmasterchorale.org), under the artistic direction of Thomas Colohan, will present its inaugural concert “Winter into Spring” on Sunday, February 28, 2010, at the National Presbyterian Church. The program will include selections from Poulenc, Hindemith, Pablo Casals, and distinguished American composers Aaron Copland, Morten Lauridsen, Adolphus Hailstork, Ross Lee Finney, and Kirke Mechem. There will be a particular emphasis on Lauridsen’s remarkable early works: his first choral cycle entitled _Mid-Winter Songs_ and his solo vocal cycle, _A Winter Come_. Mr. Lauridsen will be present to mark the occasion and will deliver a lecture immediately before the concert.

Founded in October 2009 the Washington, D.C., area-based National Master Chorale is a professional chorus whose mission is to advance American choral excellence by combining professional artistry with the beauty of architecture and the written word and to contribute new American works to the choral canon through regular commissions. The Chorale holds itself to the highest standards of professional music-making by combining the efforts of professional singers with those of rigorously-selected volunteers.

The National Master Chorale was founded to fill the gap in the Washington region between the large symphonic choirs (150+ voices) and the chamber choirs (24 to 40 voices). At 80 voices strong, this chorus is able to explore repertoire not often heard in the region and will present concerts in architecturally significant settings that are historically and culturally linked to the repertoire on each program.

“Given the recent changes in Washington’s choral landscape, it seemed fitting for our inaugural concert to present a program of choral works on themes of transition and transformation. The music will touch on notions of both metaphoric and literal winter and spring and the transition between the two,” said Maestro Colohan, Artistic Director of the group since its founding. “We are honored that the esteemed Morten Lauridsen will be joining us to celebrate the commencement of this new cultural venture in our nation’s capital.”

“I join the choral community at large and especially the fortunate citizens of Washington, D.C., in welcoming the formation of the National Master Chorale,” added Lauridsen. “I’m delighted that my music will be part of their inaugural concert in February.”

Maestro Colohan was most recently the Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Voice at Santa Clara University in California. Active as a conductor, teacher, and clinician on both the East and West Coasts, he also serves as the Interim Music Director for the distinguished All Souls Church, Unitarian, in Washington, D.C. He holds a Master of Music in Choral Music from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Lauridsen is an American composer who was named an “American Choral Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2006. In 2007 he was the recipient of the National Medal of Arts from the President in a White House ceremony, “for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power, and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide.” The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government.

More information on the National Master Chorale can be found at http://www.nationalmasterchorale.org.

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Katherine Myer
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