THE LATEST NEWS FROM CHORAL CHAMELEON
Learn more about what Choral Chameleon's Chorus was working on when we had to suspend rehearsals in March 2019. Our 'Bigger Than My Song' project, due for performance in May, involved 11 new arrangements of pop songs which were going to be sung then recorded and remixed by a DJ. A complex exercise in multiple stages.
Artistic Director Vince Peterson got together with 5 of the commissioned composers for a chat about the project. All but one of them are also alumni of the Choral Chameleon Summer Institute for Composers and Conductors.
Composers interviewed are: Lauren Bydalek, Jared Graveley, Lydia Jane Pugh, Zachary James Ritter and Derek J. Weagle
How has Choral Chameleon bit hit by COVID-19 to date?
The Ensemble’s ‘If I Left the Zoo’ remaining Tour dates in March at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, and in April at Middlebury College in Vermont had to be canceled.
After yet another fantastic reception by the Unitarian Church in Westport, Connecticut in February, we were excited to be bringing Choral Chameleon to these two States for the very first time and to be welcomed by our hosts’ communities who are great supporters of choral music.
We appreciate that the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth had already invested a significant amount in marketing our events at the point of cancellation, which they were not able to recoup and yet they were still able and willing to honor their contractual obligations towards our singers. They have been exemplary supporters of the arts over the years and we definitely want to acknowledge that.
In the case of the Chorus, when the virus hit, we were about to begin a fundraising campaign and promotion for our second big project of the year ‘Bigger Than My Song’, which was slated for May 2nd and 3rd.
For this project, we had commissioned and rehearsed an unprecedented number of new song arrangements for a single program – eleven to be exact.
The event being planned for May, which is now also canceled, was an installation-style pre-recorded presentation in which the audience could freely move between purist renderings of the song arrangements - with choir only - to another space where EDM, House, and Trance beat remixes of these arrangements would be simultaneously presented in another room by our DJ collaborator, the amazing Brandon Wolcott.
Read an extensive description of the project HERE
So what’s next?
Even though these live events for May had to be canceled, recording was a central part of the project and we hope to capture the choir singing these arrangements as soon as we can safely resume in-person activity, and to use this hiatus time to let our DJ produce the tracks he will mix our music with. This route will allow us, at the very least, to bring the innovation at the heart of the project into the world and allow access to hearing these great new arrangements and their groundbreaking remixes. We are not ruling out trying to bring the live experience to life at some point next Season.
Thanks in no small part to the support of our donors and Board, we are happy and proud to report that we will be able to honor our payments to the commissioned arrangers and to our staff musicians for all rehearsal time to date, as well as our obligations to other contractors whose services we have engaged so far this Season.
We are now re-budgeting for the project to reflect the new plan.
Faculty members Matt Oltman and Steven Smith with composers L-R Lili Tobias, Pedro Finisterra and João Fonseca e Costa (2019)
The Choral Chameleon Summer Institute for Composers and Conductors is accepting applications for our annual 8-day intensive in Brooklyn, NY. This is our 10th year!
Students of many career stages and backgrounds gather to work with our expert faculty and choirs to develop and grow within a 'best case scenario'.
Capacity is currently limited to 12 composers and 3 conductors.
As at 4.5.20 - We have made the decision to postpone the Institute to January 2021, with the 8th-15th as dates currently earmarked. We're keeping applications open.
UPDATED 3.12 - remaining tour dates for March and April have been cancelled due to COVID-19
We are delighted to announce The Ensemble will be embarking on a series of weekend tour dates with their program ‘If I Left The Zoo’ in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Vermont beginning in January. More States will get to experience Choral Chameleon’s signature programming in 2020!
Saturday January 18th at 7pm in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Saint Nicholas Roman Catholic Church
26 Olive Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
In February, the Ensemble will be performing in Connecticut on Saturday January 22nd at 7.30pm at The Unitarian Church in Westport, who have given us the warmest of welcomes over the past 2 years.
In March, we perform for the first time in Pennsylvania! www.jesuitcenter.org/2020JCSGConcertThe Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth in Wernersville will be hosting the Ensemble for two performances on Saturday March 21st at 3pm and 7pm.
In April, another state debut - Vermont! The Ensemble will be in residence at Middlebury College over the weekend of the 25th & 26th, culminating in a performance on Sunday April 26th at 3pm in the Mead Memorial Chapel. (UPDATE 3.11 - the college has had to postpone our residency and performance)
For more information about the music, featuring a World Premiere ‘Aphorisms of the Zookeeper’ by Edward Thompson, go to our website concert page HERE.
Choral Chameleon is hearing mid-season auditions for tenors and basses only for the Chorus on January 6th at 6pm.
New singers will be able to participate in our Spring 'Bigger Than My Song' concerts in early May and the preparation weeks and session of the Summer Institute for Composers and Conductors at the end of June.
Interested singers should go to our AUDITIONS page for more information.