The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Eight World Premieres Commissioned by the University of Notre Dame

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Beloved choral ensembles of Notre Dame—Glee Club, Chorale and Vocale—perform together on Saturday, March 28, 2015, 7:30 pm, in Leighton Concert Hall

We are honored to celebrate our 10th anniversary with these commissions by noted composers, who have created signature pieces for our ensembles.

As a highlight of the 10th anniversary season, the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center will showcase Notre Dame’s Chorale, Glee Club and Vocale performing eight commissioned works, adding to the University’s choral music legacy. The concert will feature over 100 singers and some of the most exciting composers of new choral music in America today.

“We are honored to celebrate our 10th anniversary with these commissions by noted composers, who have created signature pieces for our ensembles,” said Anna M. Thompson, the Judd and Mary Lou Leighton Director of the Performing Arts. “It is important we leave a legacy for the arts through commissions by the University of Notre Dame.”

This first-of-its-kind concert will strike a chord with Michiana’s many choral music enthusiasts and leave all feeling inspired by our community’s musical potential. The community is invited to enjoy the vitality and power of these young voices raised in song in the splendor of the Leighton Concert Hall.

One of the main artistic aspirations of the 10th Anniversary Choral Celebration is nurturing the choral tradition at Notre Dame and so prevalent throughout the community. Today, that means supporting contemporary composers to produce outstanding new choral works.

Ms. Thompson notes, “These composers have a range of compositional styles, and they have created inspiring and challenging pieces for the choral groups.”

Compositions include those by Cary Boyce and Gabriela Lena Frank for Vocale, James Blachly and Brad Balliett for Chorale, Tim Takach and Augusta Read Thomas for Glee Club; and Sven-David Sandström composing the closing a cappella work for all three ensembles to perform as a combined choir.

Composer Augusta Read Thomas was selected for internationally recognized eminence and appointed University Professor of Composition at the University of Chicago in 2011. Previously, she was the Mead Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) from May 1997 through June 2006. Her commissioned piece “Resounding Earth,” which had its world-premiere at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, was recently described as “burst[ing] irrepressibly, and joyously, with life” by the Washington Post (

Cary Boyce is artistic co-director and composer-in-residence of the production group and new music ensemble, Aguavá New Music Studio, which specializes in projects involving contemporary music. His music has been heard around the world in concerts and festivals in more than 25 countries, on nationally syndicated public radio and television.

Gabriela Lena Frank serves a composer-in-residence to both the Houston Symphony and a 2009 recipient of the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.

James Blachly is currently the Zander Fellow with the Boston Philharmonic, and the artistic director of the New York-based Sheep Island Ensemble.

Brad Balliett is in high demand as a composer and bassoonist. In addition to fulfilling multiple commissions each year, he is an artistic director for the innovative and socially-conscious chamber music collective Decoda (Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall).

Tim Takach is a full-time composer applauded by the press and rapidly gaining momentum in the concert world. has been awarded grants from the American Composers Forum, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, the Minnesota State Arts Board and Meet the Composer, and yearly ASCAP awards since 2004.

No composer has made such an impression on contemporary Swedish musical life as Sven-David Sandström. With over 70 compositions, Sandström composes sophisticated orchestral texture and musical melodies, film music and music for the church.

The following pieces will be performed as world premieres and were commissioned by the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in celebration of the 10th Anniversary Season:

  • Kyrie (2014) by Cary Boyce (b.1955)
  • Dijo Cifar: a los pescadores (2014) by Gabriela Lena Frank (b.1972)
  • Say Sad (2015) by Brad Balliett (b. 1982)
  • Sing Joyfully and Merrily by James Blachly (b. 1980)
  • Dappled Things by Augusta Read Thomas (b. 1964)
  • Two Shanties, arranged by Timothy Takach
  • Ambletown
  • Johnny Come Down to Hilo
  • Psalm 23 / Friede auf Erden (2014) by Sven-David Sandström (b.1942)

For a complete program listing and composer biographies, please see

The 10th Anniversary Choral Celebration is made possible by the Teddy Ebersol Endowment for Excellence in the Performing Arts.

About the University of Notre Dame DeBartolo Performing Arts Center:
The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center facilitates learning reflective of Notre Dame’s distinctive liberal arts tradition through the informed exploration of universal truths and beauty. We serve to encourage and celebrate the human spirit through the performing and cinematic arts, which connect, stimulate and enrich our communities.

Anna M. Thompson
Executive Director
Judd and Mary Lou Leighton Director of the Performing Arts
Phone: (574) 631-5511

Paul Van Ness
Marketing Program Manager
DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
(574) 631-1873

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Paul Van Ness

Anna M. Thompson
since: 05/2011
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