Announcing our 2019/20 Season with new Artistic Director Christopher Gabbitas! We open our season with Lux Aeterna featuring Fauré’s Requiem; this spring, we’ll take an interstellar musical journey with Cosmos, and close our season with Birth & Rebirth, featuring Aaron Copland’s In The Beginning along with a newly commissioned work by our own Kira Zeeman Rugen. And, for A Chorale Christmas, we’ll welcome special guest conductor Dr. André J. Thomas. All tickets go on sale July 29, 2019.
“I’m thrilled that we are announcing my first season as Artistic Director of the Phoenix Chorale,” said Christopher Gabbitas. “This year the Chorale will present music from around the world and across the ages, in many different styles, communicating striking and varied texts. Above all, I look forward to working within the beautiful sound-world of the 28 wonderful singers, and presenting a season filled with vitality and joy to all our audiences.”
Under Chris’s artistic leadership, the Phoenix Chorale also announces three new ongoing initiatives: Phoenix Masterworks Series, Phoenix Commissions, and Valley Sing.
Phoenix Masterworks Series
The Phoenix Masterworks Series envisions a concert series each season that presents one or more of the great choral works from the last 400 years: compositions that in one way or another define their era, setting, or style. The aim is twofold: to honor the vision of the founding members of the Chorale, while catering to an audience that may not otherwise be able to hear these great works, and to encourage collaborative programs with some of Phoenix’s finest chamber musicians. This series will offer a variety of sound and style to audiences, attracting new patrons of all ages and increasing the reach of the Chorale across the Valley. The first masterwork to be featured will be Aaron Copland’s In the Beginning on Birth & Rebirth (April 24-26, 2020).
Phoenix Commissions Project
New music is the life-blood of contemporary musicians, and the Phoenix Commissions Project aims to discover new voices, sustain existing composers, and add to the worldwide choral canon. Each season, the Chorale will commission a new work and for the first three seasons, these compositions will be written by women. The 2019/20 commission will be composed by Kira Zeeman Rugen, a Phoenix Chorale soprano currently in her sixteenth season with the Chorale. Kira’s compositions have been sung around the world, from California to France. Kira is Director of Choral Activities at Arizona Christian University and Artistic Director of Solis Camerata.
The Phoenix Chorale hosts the first Valley Sing, on Saturday, February 22, 2020. Partnering with the Phoenix Girls Chorus and Phoenix Boys Choir, Valley Sing is designed to build community spirit through song, bringing together friends and neighbors from across the Valley of the Sun, for the fun and joy of singing. This free community sing event is an interactive audience experience: anyone and everyone is invited to join in and lift up their voice in song. Full event details will be announced soon.
Remembering those who have gone before us is a common human need. Whether reflecting on a long life, well-lived, or mourning a life taken before its time, we seek to honor and commemorate our family, friends, and those we admire. We open our season with Fauré’s Requiem, perhaps Fauré’s most enduring work. The Chorale also welcomes guest soloists from the Phoenix Boys Choir for this program.
Gathering friends and family together at Christmas is a special joyous time bringing heartwarming memories old and new. Join us when internationally renowned conductor Dr. André J. Thomas leads the Chorale in our festive annual holiday concerts. Dr. Thomas is in demand around the world as a guest conductor and clinician. Previous engagements include the Berlin Radio Choir, Czech National Symphony, and World Youth Choirs in China, the Philippines, and in Europe.
The night sky has been a thing of wonder for all mankind since time immemorial. And through the ages this has inspired poets, painters, novelists, and musicians to create unique and exciting works of art. Cosmos takes us on an interstellar journey through cultures both ancient and modern, using musical styles from around the world and drawing varied inspiration from the beauty of the night sky.
The first in the Chorale’s new Phoenix Masterworks Series, this program celebrates some of the most timeless and inspiring works for voices, from the Renaissance to the present day. Aaron Copland’s masterpiece, In The Beginning, written for mezzo-soprano solo and chorus, provides a central theme of creation and new life. The concert includes the world premiere of a new work reflecting on Phoenix’s namesake bird by Chorale soprano Kira Zeeman Rugen.